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Chow time at Fraîche Restaurant Page 21

City mayor spills the dirt Page 11


Great Britain 1, Canada 1 Page 29

August 14th Wednesday, August 7, 2013

36 pages

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WorkSafe BC probes fatal fall in N. Van Brent Richter

WORKSAFEBC is investigating the death of a worker who fell from the roof of a North Vancouver construction site in June.

NEWS photo Kevin Hill

King of the stage

MADELINE King takes to the stage in John Lawson Park Saturday as local youth bands got a chance to showcase themselves as part of West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival. The arts festival runs to Aug. 11. Go to for details. Scan the photo with Layar for more pics from the weekend.

Emergency responders and WorkSafeBCinvestigatorswere dispatched to a home under construction at 319 West 20th St. on June 14, after a roofing contractor tumbled six-anda-half metres from the roof, sustaining “serious injury,” according to WorkSafeBC inspection reports. Burnaby-based BJ Roofing & Insulation Ltd. employees were bringing a load of construction materials to the roof when the incident happened. The man had just finished bringing a coworker some lumber to be used as a pad for a load of shingles being lifted to the roof with a crane. As WorkSafeBC’s investigation is ongoing, large parts of the initial report into the See Roof page 5

Conned turns con man in WV sting

Jane Seyd

A man being painted as a serial con man by those who say he duped them was arrested in West Vancouver recently after one of his most recent targets orchestrated a sting with the help of police. Wesley Devries, 43, is in custody, charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud. Those charges stem from deceptions allegedly foisted on both a North Vancouver bike shop and the North Shore Credit Union.

Bike store employee and duped woman join forces with police

But others around the Lower Mainland say they’re also keen to see Devries answer to the long arm of the law. In fact, it was two of those other people who tracked Devries online through a Craigslist ad and arranged to meet him in a parking lot at Park Royal July 31 — with plainclothes West Vancouver police in attendance. The man who arranged to meet Devries in West Vancouver

last week was an employee of Dunbar Cycles in Vancouver — a shop staff said Devries had recently visited. According to store employees, Devries left his passport at the shop before taking a $7,000 carbon fibre bike out for a test ride. He didn’t return. When store employees at the Vancouver store posted their experience in online biking forums, it was all very familiar to Sasha Tomchenko, general manager of Cove Bikes in Deep Cove. “I know that guy,” he thought. Tomchenko said a man with the same name and description had pulled an identical stunt in his store, looking at several bikes

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A3

WV takes homeowners to court Illegal slope work nets 56 charges, possible huge fine Brent Richter

THE District of West Vancouver is taking two British Properties homeowners to court after illegal landscaping work on their property led to a landslide and sediment dump in a fish-bearing creek.

District staff were alerted to the homeowners dumping truckloads of fill onto their property at 2785 Chelsea Close in February and issued a stop-work order. The homeowners applied for a permit but continued the landscaping work in defiance of the stop-work order, according to district spokeswoman Donna Powers. Then on March 21, the slope work allegedly triggered a landslide into a tributary of Rodgers Creek. In total, the district is alleging 56 counts of violations of its soil removal and regulation bylaw, building bylaw,

watercourse protection bylaw and creek bylaw, against homeowners Mohammadreza Morshedian and Seyedeh Shahrbanoo Janani. Ratherthanhandingoutthetypicalbylawenforcement tickets, the district is prosecuting the charges under the rarely used provincial Offence Act, because of the “sheer magnitude” of charges and damage done, said Powers. If found guilty on all charges, Morshedian and Janani could be fined $280,000 to $560,000 based on the $5,000 to $10,000 fine each bylaw violation carries. “We take this very seriously,” said Mayor, Michael Smith in a press release. “It is important that we enforce the bylaws that protect our natural environment. Anyone who operates outside these regulations risks repercussions. The owners were given ample opportunity to stop the illegal work and they chose not to. We are pursuing all appropriate charges.” Following the landslide, the owners were given two weeks to remediate the site, which they also neglected to do, forcing the district to hire a contractor to remove the excess fill and restabilize the slope. That comes with an approximately $80,000 bill, which the district will add to Morshedian and Janani’s property taxes if they do not

pay it up front, Powers said. The work to remediate the slope is nearly complete. News of the charges is welcomed by the West Vancouver Streamkeepers, who hope throwing the book will deter other would-be bylaw bandits. “I’m pleased that the district is stepping forward and challenging them,” said John Barker, Streamkeepers co-ordinator. “These things happen from time to time and it’s very discouraging that people don’t follow the bylaws or provincial regs.” Barker and other Streamkeepers volunteers have been keeping close watch on Rodgers Creek, looking for signs of lasting damage to fish habitat. So far, it is hard to tell. “That’s the time that cutthroat trout spawn so the eggs would be in the gravel and they could get suffocated and we would have no knowledge of that. There’s no way to know when you’re getting that fine particulate drift down the stream,’ he said. “We didn’t detect any loss of fish but by the same token, we can never be 100 per cent sure. Morshedian and Janani are due in North Vancouver provincial court on Sept. 10. They have not yet entered a plea.

See Con page 5

See City page 9

IT’S part of a balanced breakfast, but it will leave a hell of a dent on your car.

NEWS photo Cindy Goodman

CABBIE Christopher Kay sustained fruit barrages on consecutive evenings while cruising north on Lynn Valley Road.

Police make arrest after $6K bike stolen in Deep Cove before riding off into the sunset with a $6,000 model, leaving behind a piece of fake ID. “He’s a well-spoken guy,” said Tomchenko. “He’s well-dressed. He is a con man.” Devries has now been charged with the Cove bike theft as well as breaches of probation related to a 2012

fraud conviction. But commercial establishments aren’t the only ones who allegedly fell prey to Devries’ charms. One Lower Mainland woman, Lisa Dwyer, recently started a blog, detailing her experience of being wooed — and then duped out of $2,700 — by a Wes Devries, who asked her to help him out by cashing a cheque. By the time she realized what had happened, the

THE number of municipal employees earning more than $100,000 a year has jumped, according to recently released 2012 financial statements.

cheque had already bounced. Dwyer quickly learned she wasn’t the only woman claiming to have been scammed out of money in the same fashion. Laura Ansley of North Vancouver recalls a virtually identical experience shortly after she started dating

Brent Richter

From page 1

Anne Watson

The City of North Vancouver and the districts of North and West Vancouver have released the previous year’s financial statements, a requirement under the Financial Information Act. Municipalities must provide financial information, such as salaries and expenses, for any employees earning more than $75,000. The number of employees earning a six-figure salary in all three municipalities rose from 156 in 2011 to approximately 194 in 2012, with the District of North Vancouver boasting the highest number at around 93 employees. “North Shore residents should be very concerned,” said Jordan Bateman, B.C. director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “You have almost 200 employees now making $100,000 in a year between these three municipalities. Lots of overlap obviously in what these positions are doing.” Bateman said the District of North Vancouver’s surge in salary increases is of particular concern. “The City of North Van stayed pretty much static, District of West Van went up by 10, but I can’t think of any reason why the list of six figures in the District of North Vancouver would have gone up by 60 per cent,” he said, adding that he has talked to other municipalities across the province and most stay either static or have very slight increases. “I don’t know what the DNV did, but it is definitely not in line with what’s happened in other municipalities,” said Bateman. District of North Vancouver spokeswoman Jeanine Bratina said the difference from last year’s salaries is 31 additional employees making more than $100,000 per year. “The majority of this number is made up of some of the district’s fire services staff, and that is due to fire services staff receiving three years’ retroactive pay due to a new collective agreement,” she said, adding that 27 of the 31 are from Fire and Rescue Services. “The numbers should be back on track next year, as there will be no retroactive pay reported for fire services.” The highest-ranking salaries for all three municipalities, however, are still the executives

Cabbie victim of drive-by fruiting in Lynn Valley A North Vancouver taxi driver is warning the public after his cab was pelted with fruit twice in two nights while driving in Lynn Valley. The first incident happened on Saturday July 20 at 1:45 a.m. as Christopher Kay was driving north on Lynn Valley Road just past William Ave. After hearing a thud on his passengers’ side door, Kay pulled over to see what it was. It turned out to be the crown of a pineapple. There was no one around that Kay could see so he moved on and had the sticky juice washed off the car the next day. But that was only the first citrus-based assault. “The very next night, again at about 1:45 a.m., I was driving on the same road, at the same location with two passengers and there was a colossal bump on the front of the car and the hood and front windscreen of the car were covered in juice.” This time, the projectile was a grapefruit, full of pulpy shrapnel. “The reason I knew it was pink grapefruit juice is because my wife prepares a pink grapefruit for me every morning before I come to work,” Kay said. Kay reported the incidents to North Vancouver RCMP and ICBC, who informed him the dent would cost $500 to repair. Doubtful that he was targeted specifically, Kay said his North Shore neighbours should know. “Obviously there’s some nutter out there throwing fruit,” he said. “My single concern was if the grapefruit had been two or three feet higher, it quite possible would have smashed through the windscreen. I’m sure it would have because of the velocity and the size of the thing. It troubled me a lot.” North Vancouver RCMP spokesman Cpl. Doug Trousdell confirms Kay’s report and said he’s never heard of anything like it happening here before. But with not much information to go on, Trousdell said there’s little the police can do other than step up patrols in the area to see if the fruit chucker will strike again. Amusing as it may be, Trousdell said Kay is right to be concerned. “It’s concerning. It sound like somebody intended this to be a prank, but of course there’s a risk it might damage the vehicle or worse, startle the driver and cause a collision. It’s something we take seriously,” Trousdell said.

Municipal salaries provoke criticism

A4 - North Shore News - Wednesday, August 7, 2013



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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A5

Roof company traumatized From page 1

circumstances leading up to the fall are blacked out. B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics rushed the injured man to hospital. He died two days later, according to the report. The incident is a tragedy and has led to trauma for everyone involved, according to Bill Billy, manager and power of attorney for the company. But, he said, the worker who fell never should have been on the roof in the first place as he wasn’t in a harness. “The only work that he did was bring up a piece of two-byfour on the direct order of the other worker. This was a fatal error on both workers’ parts,” Billy said. “He should have got down off the roof and got his own two-by-four.” The two had been friends for more than 20 years Billy said. Billy also questions WorkSafeBC’s early report suggesting the fault is on BJ Roofing. “They always want to blame somebody else, but when is it the worker’s fault?’ he asked. “There are two guys up there that are responsible for the incident, and yet WorkSafeBC makes the roofing contractor

Nature lovers

NEWS photo Mike Wakefield

PATRICIA Banning-Lover (with shovel), co-founder of the Wild Bird Trust, MLA Jane Thornthwaite (to her left), Mayor Richard Walton (behind her) and WBT board members and supporters officially broke ground July 31 on the long-hoped-for Nature House at The Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats.

Con man described as ‘charming’ From page 3 Wes Devries in July 2011. “He was very charming,” she said. Ansley ended up losing $3,300 after Devries convinced her to hand over a bank card and PIN number to him. “Yes I made a stupid mistake,” she said. Ansley said she felt devastated by the betrayal, even

after she reported it to police — who told her it was unlikely they could help her. Ansley said more recently, she’s been shocked to learn about the numbers of other women who’ve reported similar experiences with Devries. “He’s very, very good at what he does,” she said. Up until that point, she said, “It never dawned on me it could happen


to other people.” Nine years ago, Devries was sentenced to five and a half years in jail for defrauding a number of women of more than $85,000 with bogus cheques. At the time, the judge described Devries as “a predator and a chronic recidivist.” Devries’ next court appearance on his most recent charges is Aug. 22.

Download the Layar app to your smartphone. Look for the Layar “cloud” symbol. Scan the photo or the page as instructed. Harmony Arts Festival page 1

look bad, they make the builder look bad.” The agency has concluded the company did not install any toe holds and the worker was not wearing a proper safety harness — both violations of occupational health and

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safety regulations. The report also notes that BJ Roofing did not have a written fall-prevention plan on the job site. Later reports show BJ Roofing has complied with some of the initial orders given.

To avoid delays when registering for any West Vancouver Community and Aquatic Centre programs, please buy or renew your West Vancouver Community Centres Society membership prior to registration day on Aug 14.

A6 - North Shore News - Wednesday, August 7, 2013

VIEWPOINT Published by North Shore News a division of LMP Publication Limited Partnership, 100-126 East 15th Street, North Vancouver, B.C. V7L 2P9. Doug Foot, publisher. Canadian publications mail sales product agreement No. 40010186.

Exploiting exotica


HEhorrifyingnewsthisweekend about two young boys killed by a pet python that escaped its enclosure raises many questions. Foremost among them has to be why and how such a dangerous, exotic and undomesticated creature was ever in such a position to begin with. Ownership of exotic animals is regulated by a patchwork of regulations across the country. In many places, including B.C., such creatures are banned. It’s not hard to see why. Animals like the African rock python and its ilk are potentially deadly. They do not make good pets. Most people would not be equipped to control them. Just how and why such an animal was allowed to exist in a retail store is impossible to fathom. Of course, just because certain exotic creatures are banned in many

jurisdictions doesn’t mean they don’t exist there. Some animals live a long time, while bans are relatively recent. And almost anything is available online. Some people are attracted to the idea of a dangerous and uncommon animal — in the same way some social misfits like to channel their attitudes through ownership of vicious dogs. Nobody has the right, however, to endanger others — or their environment. Exotics of many types fall into those categories. Those who have them should be subject to stringent controls — and inspections. It doesn’t take much thought to figure out that animals which must be kept behind double-locked doors don’t belong in a pet store or a private home — or anywhere else remotely similar.


Edgemont decision lacks logic Dear Editor: As residents of the Edgemont Village area, my husband and I have been watching the Edgemont seniors housing proposal with much interest, attending both of the information sessions and the June 25 public hearing. It was very unsettling to watch the disappointing performance of the mayor and council at the District of North Vancouver Council Meeting on July 15. Many of the important issues were barely mentioned by council, and what little debate occurred lacked both focus and logic. For example, the large mass of the building, suitability of such a large mass at this location, on-site parking, height, street appeal and traffic concerns were all raised as genuine issues at the public hearing. The public would therefore have cause to wonder what useful role was served by this hearing.

Of the more than 50 per cent of people who spoke in opposition, most objected to the mass of the building, not to the use of the site or an increase in density. Our expectation was that council would ask the applicant to resubmit the application when they had a significant increase in community support. To suggest that this was a unique site and the only one available is short-sighted, considering the development potential of the “SuperValu” site immediately across the road. Far too often, I heard “my mother, father, grandmother, grandfather would have loved to have lived in such a facility in such a wonderful location.” Are important decisions by this council based on emotion and not by a logical debate on fact and pertinent issues? Mary Anna Hawthorn North Vancouver

City council’s density approvals gridlocking traffic Dear Editor: It was a feeling of relief with which I read the letter of Hamish Watt regarding traffic gridlock in the City of North Vancouver. Relief to know that it was not only me who was bothered by the constant construction gridlock on our streets. Many concerned citizens have brought this problem and complained about it directly at North Vancouver city hall during public hearings but it was like talking against a brick wall. Always the


same response by Mayor Darrell Mussatto: “Thank you Mrs. or Mr. So and So; next speaker please” and that was the end. As Hamish Watt mentions, people notice that the traffic congestion gets worse by the day but city council seems to be oblivious to it. I have a feeling that apathy by the citizens is also a problem. If a crowd of some 1,000 citizens would crowd the council chambers and request a stop to all these upcoming high density developments council might listen.

I am grateful to the North Shore News for printing letters on this subject, maybe council might listen to the media? My personal concern is, how will Lions Gate Hospital accommodate all these newly arriving citizens? I am a senior citizen. You don’t want me to start cycling to get around and crowd Lions Gate Hospital with my broken bones. Nachiko Yokota North Vancouver

Edgemont seniors home provides needed option Dear Editor: Letter writer Leonard Seward criticizes the approved Edgemont Seniors Living project as being unaffordable for local seniors, and predicts it will be occupied by “mostly very rich people” from elsewhere (Seniors Facility Comes Expensive, Aug. 2, North Shore News). The reality is, the proposed ESL rental rates are quite affordable and well-within the standard for these types of seniors facilities. The Edgemont Seniors Living project is aimed at the typical Upper Capilano senior of 80 or more years old who will be selling their old house on a property worth $1 million or more. Taking into account the annual investment return on this sum and the “all-inclusive” nature of the facility (all meals are included, no more property taxes or ongoing house and yard maintenance costs etc.) any local senior selling their home could easily afford the monthly rent with minimal, if any, reduction of their capital. If there is a housing option for rich people, it is the increasing number of huge new single family infill homes around Edgemont that are valued at up to $2.5 million. In my view, the Edgemont Seniors Living project will be an attractive development that will positively enhance Edgemont Village. Most importantly, it will provide a much needed housing option for those many local seniors in the area who have reached the stage where they require this type of supportiveliving facility. Brian Platts North Vancouver





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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A7

Tax gap still frustrates small businesses “Sixty-nine per cent of CFIB’s small-business owners name municipal property taxes as the most business harmful tax. Business pays a much higher share of property tax than residential owners. It must be paid regardless of business profit — and many businesses must also pay privately for essential municipal services.” BC Property Tax Report, June 2013

THE latest report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business repeats the message its B.C. chapter has tracked since 2003: at an average ratio of 2.7 to one, the gap between the property taxes levied on business-commercial classes and those paid by residential owners is still too wide. The promising outlook is that the decline of 0.8 over 2011 numbers continues a four-year “narrowing of the gap.” So bearing in mind that businesses can claim their taxes as an expense on their income tax return, a relief not enjoyed by residential owners, it could be argued the gap is well on the way to zero. CFIB makes a stronger case for reconsideration of the current formula when it says

Just Asking

Elizabeth James typical businesses do not use many of the municipal services their taxes cover. A major bone of contention, for example, is that commercial property owners “pay privately” for solid waste collection, while residential owners expect their Schaefer carts and blue boxes to be emptied as a fundamental benefit received for the taxes they pay. While that is true, many people find it hard to agree that commercial owners receive no benefit from the existence of libraries, parks, theatres etc. Surely, the success of a given business depends in large part on the extent to which its community is thriving? Can communities thrive in the absence of those amenities? Those questions are relevant because as municipalities are quick to point out, if services are to continue at their present level, any reduction in revenue from business property taxes would

have to be recovered from higher taxes on residential properties. This was highlighted in a June 28, 2011 release to members of the Union of B.C. Municipalities by its then president, Barbara Steele. After stating that CFIB’s analysis “never moves beyond the impact on business,” she wrote, “The imposition of a 2:1 business/residential ratio at current levels of spending would increase the tax on the average home in BC by 14.5 per cent or $230 annually.” CFIB draws a direct link between the amount of tax revenues collected and the unfettered rate at which municipalities feel free to spend. Mike Klassen, CFIB director of provincial affairs for British Columbia confirmed that point in his email of July 31: “We have spending rates for (the years 2003-2012) in our annual municipal spending reports,” he wrote. “The spending is usually reflected in the amount of tax collected.” Caught in the real-world of this discussion, of course, are all the ordinary folk — owners and tenants alike — who, just like commercial enterprises, have no option but to comply with the taxes assessed, regardless of ability to pay. That explains why one of the responses to my July 24 column Lower Lonsdale losing

heritage character came from Joel Posluns, president of Aiki Enterprises in the 100-block of East First Street. Not only does Posluns own the building that houses his small not-for-profit business, he and wife Lyn are residents just one block distant. They pay property taxes at both locations, so the couple is in the unpleasant position of being able to compare firsthand the taxes applicable to commercial and residential accommodations. After paying his 2013 tax bill of $19,912 on the business property, Posluns calculates the cumulative business-tax increase over the past five years is close to 60 per cent. According to CFIB, the 2012 property tax gap in the

City of North Vancouver is in the order of 3.84 to one which means that on a residential accommodation of similar value, the 2013 taxes would approximate $5,190 — a real-world dollar gap close to $15,000. What brings smoke out of Posluns’ ears, however, is that along with the increases Lower Lonsdale businesses endure, they have to “plead and beg for simple services like street sweeping.” Judging by the neighbourhood photographs he included in his email, Posluns’ annoyance is more than justified. There is good reason, too, for the letters Posluns has sent to city staff, to the new Auditor General for Local

Government and to his MLA, former North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce president Naomi Yamamoto — all in an effort to have the area around his property cleaned up. Analysis of the 2012 worstto-best provincial rankings of the 32 municipalities that comprise the CFIB’s Vancouver Coast & Mountains division suggests all three North Shore administrations have work to do. While the gap reported for the City of North Vancouver has dropped five per cent from 2011, its 3.84:1 ratio is still higher than the 3.61:1 recorded for the District of North Vancouver and a full See Businesses page 8


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A8 - North Shore News - Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Infant development program loses play space High housing prices drive high rental costs for non-profits

undiagnosed causes. While the group continues to maintain their schedule of house calls, they lost their central play area after a big spike in lease costs left IDP looking for new funding from the Ministry for Children and Family Development. “The polite answer at the end of the day was that they weren’t able to discuss that with us, and so we were left with very little choice but to give our notice,” said North Shore Disability Resource Centre executive director Liz Barnett. Because playgroups are not offered in the summer, there has been no disruption in service, according to MCFD communications director Corinna Filion. “The agency is currently in the final stages of negotiations with a partner community agency for a permanent space this September,” Filion wrote.

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THE North Shore Infant Development Program is looking for a new place to play. After spending 12 years as a neighbourhood fixture, the group lost their space on East Seventh Street at the end of June. The IDP offers therapeutic play for newborns and toddlers who have been diagnosed with conditions like cerebral palsy or Down syndrome, or who seem developmentally delayed for

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Despite carrying an annual caseload of 170 children, all whom are no older than three, Barnett said the closure was not entirely unexpected. “We were a bit shocked, because, first of all that our funder wasn’t willing to cough up any extra money for lease space. I guess we shouldn’t have been shocked because they’re not willing to cough up anything for staff wages,” she said. “This has been ongoing, this death of a thousand cuts, for years.” The North Shore Disability Resource Centre receives annual funding of approximately $316,000, according to Filion, who pointed out that 30,000 youth and children with special needs across B.C. receive help from the ministry. While contracts have yet to be signed, Barnett said she’s confident IDP will have a new play centre by September. The centre affords an opportunity for families in similar situations to share advice and help each other in ways professionals can’t, Barnett said. “IDP is the first place to go to get the help you need to get to know what to do,” Barnett said. “It saves their sanity, it saves them from worry. It creates opportunities for them to network.” Finding space is an acute challenge for North Shore nonprofits, according to Barnett, who cited the region’s prohibitive housing prices as an obstacle.

Businesses, residents must re-evaluate taxes together From page 7

1.22 higher than West Vancouver’s. For me, the jury is still out as to whether a two to one ratio is the right goal to aim for. While 69 per cent of businesses believe their taxes are too onerous, it’s likely that percentage could be matched or topped if the same questions were asked of residents. So when all is said and done, it’s doubtful anything will improve until all participants drop their us-versus-them stance in the discussions. ••• On a much brighter note: I could not attend the July 30 public meeting where the Staburn Property Group unveiled its proposal for redevelopment of 101-149 Lonsdale Ave. So when a friend thought to email me a photograph of the drawings, I was blown away by what I saw. Staburn and its heritage consultant Don Luxton have not only found a way to include the shape of the original building at 101, the entire frontage of the block marries the best of the original architectural lines with those of today. Award winning? If city staff can be satisfied as to the development’s compatibility with complex building codes, I think Staburn has a winner.


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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A9

City CAO Tollstam top earner From page 3

at the top, with all three chief administrative officers pulling in more than $230,000 last year. Ken Tollstam, chief administrative officer for the City of North Vancouver, earned the most at more than $269,000. “They have been very crafty over the years, the 200 or so positions like this that are available across the province, in continually pushing their salaries higher,” said Bateman. He said when one CAO gets a raise, it usually causes a ripple effect throughout the province. Bateman said though it rarely happens, there is a concern that a CAO may jump from one community to another. Of the three mayors, Richard Walton of the District of North Vancouver had the largest salary of almost $96,000, followed closely by City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto at more than $93,000 while District of West Vancouver Mayor Michael Smith earned less than $75,000. Councillors in all three municipalities averaged between $30,000 and $40,000. “No one at city hall ever takes a pay cut, so once you bump them up to a certain




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level, they’re only going to continue to grow from there,” said Bateman. “The best you can usually hope is to get them to freeze the salaries, but even that very rarely happens.” He said when there is a significant increase, residents should investigate further, to see if the mayor and council are exercising proper oversight and demanding answers from their administrative officers. “When you see this number jump like that, you have to ask several questions,” said Bateman. “What exactly is going on here, and are we really getting that much better service from our civic employees to warrant that kind

of pay increase?” The overall spending on police services is also included in the municipal financial statements, though specific details of earnings are not made available. Police in the District of West Vancouver earned more than $10 million collectively, and policing services cost the District of North Vancouver more than $11 million last year. However, the City of North Vancouver was unable to provide earnings because of a legal dispute over pay raises for some of its RCMP members in 2009 and 2010. The final numbers were not determined and therefore not included in

last year’s statements. Bateman said for concerned residents, the best thing to do is to get out and vote at election time. “It all comes back to the ballot box. Until you get taxpayers willing to go to the ballot box and cast their vote for fiscally responsible government, this will continue on and on,” he said. “If people who are struggling to pay their taxes and see tax increases every year, if they don’t come out and put a scare into their council and probably move some people around, hold people accountable for their spending decisions, this will just continue to escalate.”

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A10 - North Shore News - Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Harmony Arts Festival Showcase Exhibition

by Kevin Hill

Artist Anne Souther and volunteer Lorna Emslie

Meighlin McNeill, artist Deirdre McNeill and Erin McNeill

Michael Gordon and artist Anne Gudrun

Artist Alfred DePew and visual arts co-ordinator Ruth Payne

Cindy Frostad and carver Xwalacktun (born Rick Harry) The 2013 Harmony Arts Festival kicked off in West Vancouver Friday night with a number of events, including the opening reception of the Showcase Exhibition held inside the Ferry Building Gallery. The gallery will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day during the festival, showcasing works from more than 20 talented local artists. The mixed media exhibition also features 3D works from the Pacific Arbour Group Exhibition. The Harmony Arts Festival featuring art exhibits, music, movies, great food and more runs Aug. 2-11 along West Vancouver’s waterfront between 14th Street and 16th Street. For more information visit or find the festival guide in the July 28 edition of the North Shore News.

Artist Greg Allen and volunteer Brittany Dickson

Mike Horton, Cindy Horton and sculptor Neill Lyons

Artist Karen Moe, Beth Connell and Monica Gewurz

Please direct requests for event coverage to: For more Bright Lights photos go to:


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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A11

PRACTICAL GEEK Tech columnist Barry Link gets digitally organized. page 13


City mayor spills the dirt Wild About Birds Al Grass

Berries, birds and butterflies

Dig Deep

Todd Major IN a city of gardens there’s a mayor who gardens. Darrell Mussatto is into his third term as Mayor of the City of North Vancouver and I wanted to know more about the character of the mayor who loves to garden. I also wanted to know if he practises what he preaches. Here’s what I found out: His garden is organically grown and he uses leaves as mulch. He uses some solar power. Mussatto lives in an energy efficient laneway house on a lot that is shared by his mother and father’s house and his brother’s house, exemplifying the medium density of infill housing that he promotes. He drives a fuel efficient smart car. And he grows ornamental and vegetable plants in his garden, some for enjoyment, others to eat. After learning about Mussatto’s home and gardening practices, I sat with him and relaxed in his charming and comforting garden while we spoke at length about gardening and current issues around the region. Here are his responses to my questions: Q: How long have you been gardening? A: Since 1991, about the time I met you, Todd. Q: Do you have any favourite plants? A: I like many plants but two favourites are hostas and blueberries. Q: What is your favourite aspect of gardening and why? A: Being in the garden, working with plants and the soil. It allows me to get away, unwind and unplug from

LATE summer is a wonderful time of the year for nature lovers.

Street trees beautify the city and control storm water. Passive parks allow people some solitude. And parks are very social places. Q: What type of development do you think should occur in the Upper Lands of West Vancouver? A: I have to be careful here, but putting a village way up in those mountains seems a little tenuous. Building high density up there, maybe; but as for big luxury houses, in 100 years the

Wild asters and goldenrod lend their splashes of colour to the landscape, while butterflies like Western tiger swallowtail, Lorquin’s admiral, Milbert’s tortoiseshell and skippers flit about in the sunshine, sipping the plants’ sweet nectar. And blackberries are ripe, making a tasty snack for birds and humans alike. It’s not unusual to see a blackberry bush with black-headed grosbeaks, Western tanagers, purple finches and robins enjoying the tasty fruit. August is full of fine birding opportunities and with the breeding season over, broods of young may be seen, often being fed by their parents. To get the attention of adult birds, the fledglings “quiver” their wings while holding their mouths agape. In fact, their mouths are lined with colour (so-called “gape marks”). Neotropical migrants like warblers, vireos and flycatchers spend August preparing for the long migration back to their wintering areas. Some species, like the purple martin, fly all the way to Brazil. The tiny rufous hummingbird spends its winters in Mexico — an incredible journey for a tiny bird weighing about two pennies. Even though many are not vocalizing the way they

See Mussatto page 12

See Ideal page 15

NEWS photo Mike Wakefield

IN a one-on-one interview with columnist Todd Major, City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto said community gardens, like the one at City Hall (pictured), allow people to reconnect with the soil. Scan with Layar to view a video of the mayor at the City Hall gardens. my busy life. It’s healthy downtime. Q: What is your least favourite aspect of gardening? A: Doing cleanup after pruning hedges. You have to be very meticulous at picking up all those cut-off pieces of hedge. Q: How do you think community gardens benefit society? A: They allow people to reconnect with the soil. Those gardens are a great source of pride for people and very social places. You never see people fighting in a community

garden (laughter). Q: Should developers be required to include community gardens in their development plans? A: It comes down to a series of trade-offs. Some sites suit that use, others do not. Required by law? Probably not, but developers should at least consider the option when they are planning. Q: Are the costs associated with municipal parks worth the benefit to society and why? A: Definitely. Sports fields provide healthy recreation.


A12 - North Shore News - Wednesday, August 7, 2013


green guide

Lawn Sprinkling Schedule: Mornings-only (4-9 a.m.) wateringregulationsareineffect until Sept. 30. Even-numbered addresses: Monday, Wednesday or Saturday mornings. Oddnumbered addresses: Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday. Info: Compost Coaching: Free personalized, at-home support for using the Green Can or backyard composter. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you’re guaranteed to learn

something new. Offered by the North Shore Recycling Program on behalf of all three North Shore municipalities. Book appointments at coaching.northshorerecycling. ca or 604-984-9730. The Fascinating World of Bears: Biologist David Cook is back by popular demand to speak about the American Black Bear, highlighting aspects of their management on the North Shore Thursday, Aug. 15, 7-8:45 p.m. at

Parkgate library, 3675 Banff Court, North Vancouver. Registration required: 604929-3727. Art in the Garden — Show and Sale: In order to get the publictorediscoverthegardens, over 30 artists’ work will be displayed amongst the foliage Aug. 17 and 18 from noon to 5 p.m. at Park & Tilford Gardens, 333 Brooksbank Ave., North Vancouver. GardenSmart


— Fantastic Food Forests: Learn about what a food forest is, along with tips and pointers on perennial and edible landscapes Wednesday, Aug. 21, 6:30-8 p.m. at Queen Mary Community Garden, 230 W. Keith Road, North Vancouver. Fee: $8.25. Registration required: 604-990-3755. Info: northshorerecycling. ca/programs/gardensmartworkshops. Email event info to listings@

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Mussatto likes the word ‘yes’ From page 11 big houses of today will be like the castles of ancient Europe. Q: The North Vancouver School Board recently sold the Ridgeway Annex to Anthem Properties. Do you believe that selling school board property benefits the community in the long run, why or why not? A: Yes if it’s part of an overall community plan. And after all. we don’t need schools three blocks apart. I also believe the school board should consider building a new K-3 school in Lower Lonsdale in a low-rise style building, not a sprawling one-level building as is the current norm in society. Q: What is your opinion on the Port Authority’s recent purchase of 80 hectares of farmland and future plan to buy up farmland along the south arm of the Fraser River and convert the land to industrial use? A: Totally opposed. Q: Why did the city pass a cosmetic pesticide bylaw? A: To reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides and ensure the planet’s survival. Q: The city’s webpage biography for you says you support urban gardening. Why do you think gardening is important to society? A: Gardening is part of our social life. It feeds us literally and spiritually. And it’s important for everyone — especially children — to know where food comes from. Now for some fun questions borrowed from French journalist Bernard Pivot which should help our readers get to know you a little better. Q: What is your favourite word? A: Yes. Q: What is your least favourite word? A: Can’t. Q: What turns you on? A: Creating great cities. Q: What turns you off? A: Lazy people. Q: What sound or noise do you love? A: Train whistles in the distance (private comment and laughter). Q: What sound or noise do you hate? A: Crows fighting (private comment and laughter). Q: What profession other than your own, would you like to attempt? A: Arborist. Q: What profession would you not like to attempt? A: Veterinarian. I don’t like animal suffering. Q: If heaven exists, what do you think God will say when you arrive at the pearly gates? A: Oh, it’s you (laughter). Todd Major is a journeyman horticulturist, garden designer and builder, teacher, skills trainer and organic advocate. For advice contact him at

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A13


Getting organized in the digital world Practical Geek Barry Link

I’M a list maker, it’s the way I organize my world.

While I quickly discovered that my first computer was fine at making lists, I continued to depend on pen and paper as my organizational tools. But in the past couple of years, I’ve grown tired of the mountain of paper notes and notebooks scattered through my life and workplace. Thanks to mobile devices like smartphones that I can take anywhere, I’ve moved my list-making habit to my computer, tablets and smartphones and linked them all through the cloud. Cyberspace is the list junkie’s friend. So far, it works well and I’d recommend it. The

underlying principle for all these tools is that they must be easy to use and work across as many platforms and devices as possible. And they must meet two needs: help remember where and when I need to be during my day, and give me quick access to material and allow me to easily record ideas and take notes when I get there. For me, that means an online calendar and a note-taking and collecting application. It also means getting away from email as a means to store notes, memos and reminders. In a world of crowded inboxes and spam, email doesn’t cut it anymore for organizing your life. I use Google calendar to help organize my day for both home and work. While not as powerful as calendars that come with work-based applications like Outlook, it’s straightforward and simple. It works on Windows at home, OSX at work and tablets and phones running iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Since I use Gmail as one of my main email services, it’s easy to access and uses the same interface. It’s also free. I use it to remember appointments, home projects, birthdays and family events and to list my personal tasks for the day. I’ve

NEWS photo Cindy Goodman

TECH columnist Barry Link uses the straightforward and easy-to-use Google calendar to plan his day. configured it to trigger alarms on my phone to remind me when appointments are close at hand. For work, our newsroom uses a shared Google calendar to record staff absences, meetings throughout the day, freelancer contributions and the dates of upcoming special projects like feature stories. Events on the calendar trigger reminders, sent via email to

each staff member’s mail, at set intervals (in our case, 24 hours for a first reminder, and then 10 minutes right before the event). The calendar works with our iPhones and allows us to stay on top of our schedules while on the go, although configuring the sharing ability on iOS with Google calendar turned out to be surprisingly arcane (it

just works? Ha.) I use Microsoft’s OneNote at home for my personal lists. It works on just about any device going, including all my Android and Windows devices. It’s the ultimate list maker, organizing itself into digital notebooks which in turn are organized into sections and pages which can hold notes, lists, pictures, audio recordings and website addresses. I have notebooks for renovations, shopping, personal goals, travel, and future topics and research for this column. Updating those lists on one device syncs to the cloud and automatically updates OneNote on all my other devices. OneNote shines for travel. For a trip to San Francisco a few years ago, I created a OneNote notebook that held my flight and hotel reservations as well as a walking tour of the city created by a friend, which I copied from an online IM chat with her. I updated all the information at home on my laptop and then used my phone while on the go. OneNote is free. In our newsroom we’ve recently moved to the independent app Evernote to sort out the complicated

workflow of putting out a newspaper. It functions much the same as OneNote, organizing itself into notebooks that can be shared with other users. It works on just about any device and as with OneNote sorts itself into digital notebooks. Our main use is a single document containing all the tasks necessary to put out an edition of the paper. Once we complete a task, we tick off a check box next to the task, and that information is updated automatically to all our devices and computers through the cloud. I find Evernote easy and fun to use. The basic version is free but very limited. For a heavy list maker, and for a group of people either in a non-profit or workplace who want to share notes collaboratively, the paid version at $5 a month per person is a necessity. So there’s a few ideas. Let me know what you use to organize your life through the digital realm.

Barry Link is editor of the Vancouver Courier newspaper and a geek enthusiast. Email him at blink@vancourier. com or follow him on Twitter @trueblinkit.




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Ideal time for unusual sightings From page 11 did in the spring, they’re still about, making birding more of a challenge. This is true of warblers and vireos, which with other species, will be in mixed flocks foraging on insects. Interestingly vireos, like the red-eyed and warbling (two local species), sing right into late summer. Because birds are preparing for migration, August and early September are good months to watch for unusual sightings that include kingbirds and warblers: one warbler to keep an eye out for is the Nashville warbler, a species more associated with B.C.’s Interior, but one that shows up locally in places like Maplewood Conservation Area, sometimes in mixed warbler flocks (black-throated gray, Townsend’s, orangecrowned). Waterfowl, too, are also on the move. Watch the sky for flocks of geese and ducks returning from northern breeding grounds as far away as Alaska. Recently, at Maplewood Conservation Area, hundreds of Canada geese congregated there — it’s molting time which explains why there are windrows of feathers on the beaches. Recently, (mid-July) a large flock of surf scoters

was seen offshore in West Vancouver. Interestingly, they were reported as all males who apparently fly down from their northern breeding grounds to molt. On the subject of waterbirds, there are two interesting things to watch for in August. For most of the summer, the gull diversity has been largely the locally common glaucous-winged gull (not glaucous — that’s a different species). Now we can look for ring-billed, California and mew. Late summer brings termites flying about looking for places to set up new colonies. Sometimes you’ll see gulls swooping about catching the termites in mid-air. These will probably be mew gulls — a small, delicate species named for its call. Related to gulls are terns — “sea swallows” of oceans and lakes. They can be recognized in flight by their swallow-like flight and their habit of diving head-long (plunge diving) into the water in pursuit of fish. Two species to watch for are the larger Caspian tern and the smaller common tern. If you’re lucky, you may see a dark gull-like bird chasing the terns to make them give up their catch. The parasitic tern is the jaeger most frequently seen locally. The public pier at Ambleside Park is a good

place to watch for this action. Look for pigeon guillemots, too. These are seabirds related to murrelets and auklets. The pigeon guillemot is our local breeding species of the groups known as alcids. Recently there have been reports of shorebirds arriving here on migration from their northern breeding grounds, including the western sandpiper. Tidal flats like those at Maplewood Conservation Area are critical habitat for these waders. By mid-August, look for the lesser and greater yellowlegs, pectoral, least and solitary sandpipers (to name a few). Interestingly, the solitary sandpiper is sometimes found around mountain lakes and tarns like Yew Lake in Cypress Provincial Park during migration. Observing shorebirds can be a real challenge because you need to observe details like bill shape, leg colour, plumage, etc. — a good spotting scope helps. Not to forget the little birds — finches, chickadees and sparrows, for they too have been very active taking advantages of nature’s bounty of fruits and insects. Summer has produced a good crop of wild cherries, and birds like the purple finch, robin and black-headed grosbeak make good use of these tasty fruits. Recently, at the sanctuary

at Maplewood, we watched a flock of cedar waxwings feeding on fruits of black hawthorn (a native species). Waxwings are also excellent at catching (“hawking”) insects from mid-air, including damselflies and dragonflies. Dragonflies are also eaten by a number of other birds including red-winged blackbird and purple martin. Male goldfinches, which have sported their bright yellow breeding plumage all summer, will soon be returning to their basic “winter plumage” where they will look more like females. Not all goldfinches leave the North Shore in fall; a few stay around, especially at bird feeders stocked with black oil sunflower or Niger seed. Enjoy the wonderful birding opportunities the North Shore’s parks and wild areas have to offer. Keep safe. Al Grass is a naturalist with Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia, which sponsors free walks at Maplewood Flats Conservation Area on the second Saturday of every month. The next walk will be Saturday, Aug. 10 starting at 10 a.m. — to seek out the first signs of fall. Meet at Maplewood Flats, 2645 Dollarton Hwy. (two kilometres east of the Iron Workers Second Narrows Memorial Crossing). Walks go rain or shine.

photo John Lowman

MEW gulls — named so for their call — can often be seen chasing termites in the late summer.


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Barb Lunter SETTING a summer table and knowing where your guests will sit simplifies serving and generally makes dining easier for your guests. It really only takes a few minutes to put together some fun and simple place card settings and in the end both you and your guests will appreciate the extra effort. Here are some of my favourite ways to display your guest’s name during this time of year. I like to keep the theme casual and easy-going during the summer months. Cork it! I think corks are one of the most versatile decor accessories around. They truly have so many re-purposes that the list is endless. Here’s a quick and simple idea for your next winelovers’ dinner party. Simply take a few old corks and make an insertion with a box cutter down the side. Next, carefully slice off a small piece on the opposite side of the cork so that it sits straight up on the surface. Cut a few place setting cards and outline them in black felt pen. Write your attendee’s name on the card and gently insert the card into the cork. Place on your dinner plate on

photo Gabby Lunter

WITH a little modification, old corks can double as unique place card settings for wine-loving guests. top of a napkin. Fruit friendly With such an abundance of fresh fruit in markets and on store shelves right now it’s wonderful to incorporate them into our table settings. Next time you are at the market pick up a few pretty peaches or pears that have nice stems and give them a good wash. Let them dry. Attach a small gift tag with your guest’s name to the stem of the fruit and place on your dinner plate or in front of the place setting. Pretty ribbon cutlery A very simple but chic idea is to simply tie your knife, fork and spoon with some pretty satin ribbon. You can find some lovely ribbons at florist shops and gift shops. Purchase about 30 centimetres for each setting.

Tie the three pieces of cutlery together and place on top of a napkin on each dinner plate. White on white I love the clean, minimalist look of white on white on a table setting. At this time of year there are many white flowers to choose from. White hydrangea and roses complement each other beautifully. Simply tie a single white hydrangea bloom with a single white rose and place in front of each attendee’s dinner plate. Scatter white tea lights down the centre of the table for added effect. Barb Lunter is a freelance writer with a passion for home decor, entertaining and floral design. Contact Barb at or follow her on her blog at lunter. ca.



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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A17


Teach kids to deal with their feelings EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Oliver comes to his mom and says that he’s worried about his dad flying home from Toronto.

He saw a news story about a plane crash and is afraid that there will be an accident. “Don’t be silly” his mom responds. “Dad has taken lots of flights and always comes home safely. He will be fine.” Seven-year-old Hannah tells her dad that she’s nervous about a pending rainstorm. She wonders if the house will leak. “You’re too young to worry your pretty little head about that,” her dad responds, “I will look after the house.” When our kids are worried, the almost automatic response is to reassure them. We want them to always be happy and secure and never worry. But they do. Kids do worry, they become frustrated and they get angry. And we want them to always experience joy, happiness and excitement. Everyone has feelings and not all of them are comfortable. We can’t protect our kids from their feelings but we can help them to label them, to understand them and to deal with them. So instead of dismissing what we might call negative feelings, we need to listen to our kids. When we dismiss them by saying they are too young to worry, they begin to distrust their

Parenting Today Kathy Lynn

own instincts. “I think I am worried,” Oliver thinks, but mom says that’s silly so I guess I was wrong. If mom had responded by acknowledging the fear, then he would know that his gut feeling is accurate. Then she can talk to him about the odds of an accident or help him to track the flight online. She reassures him but at the same time acknowledges his concern. While we want to help our kids acknowledge their feelings it’s important to remember that kids’ feelings tend to be transitory. For the most part they come and go quite quickly so once he’s moved on to the next thing, let it go. When your child is moping around, try to figure out the cause. What is he feeling? If you say, “What’s the problem?” odds are that you will get a non-answer. Instead, describe what you are seeing. “I notice that you seem to be quiet today. Can you tell me what you’re thinking?” This could lead to a conversation, which will help

you determine what he is feeling and then work toward a conclusion. It could be anything from being tired or hungry to being worried about a test at school. People of all ages are responsible for their own feelings. “It’s not my fault I yelled at him, he made me mad.” That is not taking ownership. “He called me names and I yelled at him.” is a more appropriate comment. Our children will try to blame us for their feelings when we make a decision they don’t like. This is when they often come out with the hurtful phrase, “I hate you!” It hurts us but it’s not what they really mean and we need to help them define what’s really happening. So our response can be, “You are upset that I said you can’t go downtown alone.” You can then go on to explain that it’s OK to be upset but saying she hates you is very hurtful and unfair. While all feelings are OK, there are times and places to express those feelings. “Feeling angry with your brother is fine but breaking his toy because you are angry is simply not acceptable. You need to calm down and then we can talk about what happened.” Teach your kids to understand, label and cope with their feelings. Kathy Lynn is a professional speaker and author of Who’s In Charge Anyway? and But Nobody Told Me I’d Ever Have to Leave Home. If you want to read more, sign up for her informational newsletter at

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IT’S important to help children acknowledge their feelings, says columnist Kathy Lynn, but parents must also remember that kids’ feelings tend to be transitory.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A19


A Great Day Out for the Whole Family

As we near September, we prepare the kids for going back to school and are gearing up for busy fall schedules. This is the time when you need to take a break and come to the Seymour area for some fun in the sun in the Parkgate Plaza. Join us as we celebrate the end of summer and the birthday of the Parkgate Community Centre. On Saturday September 7th, there’s a free community event at the Parkgate Community Centre plaza that you won’t want to miss! Parkgate’s annual Family Day event began as a way to celebrate the opening of the Parkgate Community Centre and has grown into one of the Seymour area’s favourite events. This year’s 14th annual celebration will be held in the plaza at 3625 Banff Court from 11am-2pm. Event highlights are

will be on site during the entire event.

Participants are encouraged to come hungry – the Mount Seymour Lions Housing Society will present their charity BBQ with proceeds supporting Parkgate Community Services Society programs and services. We encourage you to take transit or ride your bike to the event. A fun obstacle course and a bike decorating station will be available for your entertainment.

This event is a combined effort of Parkgate Community Services Society, North Vancouver Recreation Commission and FREE the Arts Office who come FAMILY EVENT together to AT PARKGATE offer a fun and Saturday, entertaining

September 7 11am-4pm

the ever popular ‘Flow Show’, a demonstration of extreme mountain biking tricks using jumps, ramps and obstacles set up in the parking lot beside the Parkgate plaza. Will Stroet will take the main stage just before the celebratory cupcakes are distributed and a face painter and balloon artist

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free community event. Exhibition space and sponsorship opportunities are offered to organizations who wish to present their services to the community and serves as a great avenue to connect directly with the residents of the Seymour area. Those interested in taking part are welcome to contact the Parkgate Community Recreation Programmer at trankin@ to receive detailed information on how to exhibit and/or become an event sponsor. Space is limited and is available on a first come first served basis. The Parkgate Family Day is a great way to meet your neighbours and build stronger community bonds, so mark Saturday, September 7th on your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there, rain or shine.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A21


Chow time at Fraîche Restaurant

Chris Dagenais Contributing writer

CHEF Carol Chow took the helm of the kitchen at Fraîche Restaurant last April with a mission to make the menu at the celebrated West Vancouver restaurant a bit more accessible to diners. Chef Chow, who hails from the North Shore, came to Fraîche from her most recent tenure at Beach Side Forno. Prior to that she served as both a consulting and personal chef in Shanghai and London, as well as a member of the kitchen team at Gusto di Quattro in Lower Lonsdale. I was keen to see how Chow’s philosophical commitment to accessible cuisine would translate into reality and recently booked an 8 p.m. reservation for my wife DJ and I. This would be the first of two nearly backto-back meals I would have at Fraîche under Chow’s watch. As it turns out, the two meals were so dramatically distinct that it was almost as though they had been served in different restaurants entirely. The reason for this, I think, is that Fraîche is at a crossroads. As Chow implements her long-term vision for the menu, she must contend with the spectre of chefs past. The influences of the two most recent executive chefs prior to Chow — Jefferson Alvarez and Jason Harris — are still very much alive in the form of the current à la carte menu, which has remained unchanged since Chow’s arrival. It was from

this menu that DJ and I dined during the first of my two recent visits to Fraîche. Our meal began with a first course of foie gras with tête de cochon, lentil salad and chamomile syrup. The foie gras, prepared in the decadently rich and buttery au torchon style, was stunningly tasty, creamy and subtle as it melted instantly on the tongue. The foie nicely balanced the succulent meat of the pig’s head preparation. For her main course, DJ had gnocchi with textures of carrots and hazelnuts in Banyuls brown butter. The gnocchi — tender, al dente little morsels of potato perfection — were expertly prepared and the hazelnuts offered a nice textural counterpart. The carrot component, which included an emulsion that infiltrated the Banyuls brown butter, was a touch on the sweet side and made for an intensely rich See Fraîche page 22

NEWS photos Kevin Hill

CHEF Carol Chow brings her international experience to West Vancouver’s Fraîche Restaurant. Dishes like prawn and frisée salad (above) typify Chow’s commitment to delicious but accessible cuisine.

A22 - North Shore News - Wednesday, August 7, 2013

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FOODIES can take in Comox Valley’s farm-toplate culinary scene this month by pedal power.

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The annual Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour (Aug. 10 and 11) introduces cyclists to farm folk that make their living from the soil and sell their products at the bustling Comox Valley Farmers’ Market and beyond. Located on the protected southeastern coast of Vancouver Island, the area is a culinary hot spot that combines more than 445 farms and dozens of restaurants and food producers. Cyclists can choose from four self-guided routes. Saturday’s Rural Ramble is a family friendly pedal with farm stops in the Dove Creek area. Back Roads Bliss on Saturday features a moderate cycle through the northern valley with four possible loops from 25 to 50 kilometres. New this year is


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a Comox Peninsula pedal, also on Saturday. Sunday’s Bayviews tour with combined 15- and 42-kilometre routes takes cyclists from the seaside hamlet of Royston to Canada’s oyster capital of Fanny Bay. Along the routes, cyclists may munch on organic blueberries, take in a barn tour on a dairy farm, sample local wines in a vineyard or slurp back freshshucked oysters. The fee is $15 per person per tour (limit one tour per day). Two-day registration is $25. Kids under 15 ride free. Tours go rain or shine. Visit discovercomoxvalley. com to book. All tickets and accommodation can be booked online or through the Vancouver Island Visitor Centre at 1-855-400-2882. Where to stay: The Old House Hotel & Spa on Courtenay River (from $109 per night) will set you within walking distance of the farmers’ market and just steps from a picturesque pedal along the Courtenay Riverway

NEWS photo

CYCLISTS can meet local food producers on tours ranging from 18 to 58 kilometres. Heritage Walk. Studio, oneand two-bedroom suites with a river or mountain view, gourmet kitchen, fireplace and soaker tub welcome weary cyclists, who will also appreciate the heated outdoor pool, barbecue terrace and indoor bike lock-up.

Getting there: There are extra sailings on the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. A direct harbour-to-harbour floatplane service connects Comox with downtown Vancouver. Details at

Fraîche Restaurant at a culinary crossroads From page 21 dish overall. My main course consisted of confit rack of boar with pork dumplings and bacon jam. The boar, though nicely seasoned and clearly of exceptional quality, was a bit dry for my liking. However, the bacon jam was a beautiful and inspired accompaniment to the boar, offering a nice balance of sweet, smoky and salty flavours. We finished the meal with a basket of warm lemon madeleines that were light as air and paired brilliantly with espresso.

It wasn’t until about a week after this meal that I learned that Chow had launched a three-course taster menu of her own creation, called the Sunset Menu. Available Tuesdays through Thursdays and again on Sundays, the Sunset Menu features Chow’s first original menu creations for Fraîche. I felt compelled to try it and booked a table for myself on a Thursday evening. I am so happy that I did as my meal was truly exceptional and foreshadows Chow’s more accessible menu. The Sunset Menu features weekly rotating dishes. On my visit, the first course was an

unforgettable sweet summer pea soup with a seared scallop balanced atop toasted brioche. The dish had the texture of a hearty winter pea soup but somehow managed to preserve a light and fresh flavor that just screamed summertime. Next up was an impeccably cooked, porcini-dusted lamb sirloin with white and green asparagus and celeriac puree. The lamb was impossibly tender and moist and the nicely seasoned celeriac puree presented a welcome alternative to a traditional starch accompaniment. Of special note was the dessert course, a summer

pavlova with fresh berries, white chocolate cream and raspberry sorbet. Two textures of meringue were presented, one light and ethereal, the other slightly more caramelized and dense. The balance of sweet and tart flavours, crisp and chewy textures, and vibrant colours made this dish a runaway hit. Based on her Sunset Menu, I have high hopes for Chow’s new à la carte menu, tentatively due this fall. Fraîche is located at 2240 Chippendale Road, West Vancouver. Phone: 604-9257595. fraî Closed Mondays.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A23


Big Sky resort is a big draw Course cracked top-30 list Mark Hood Contributing writer

LIVING on Canada’s West Coast presents us all with a dilemma: we are justifiably proud of where we live and want our glorious region celebrated, but not to the point where it actually encourages people from elsewhere to relocate here.

photo Mark Hood

THE 546-yard par-5 18th hole at Big Sky features water down the right side, a creek in front of the green and a monstrous wrap-around bunker guarding the green from midpoint left to midpoint right. Scan this photo with Layar to watch a video of the course.



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A case in point is the Big Sky Golf and Country Club in Pemberton. In 2013, Golf Digest Magazine named it 28th best place to play golf in Canada on a top-30 list that included legendary facilities such as Capilano, Shaughnessy, Jasper Park and Banff Springs. One of only five B.C. courses to crack the lineup, Big Sky has been gathering laurels since first opening for play in 1994 when it was runner-up for the Best New Course in Canada title. The hits just keep on coming, and so too do the visitors. A look at the TripAdvisor ratings for Big Sky gives you some valuable perspective on what a precious gem we have here. People from elsewhere, who spend hard-earned dollars and precious time to come out here, remind us what we have at our disposal. Comments include: “stunning,” “excellent service” and “excellent food, service and scenery you couldn’t beat anywhere on the globe” from Ontario, Ohio and Australia. At 7,100 yards from the tournament tees, Big Sky lives up to its name. With Mount Currie looming up to 8,450 feet in the west, the sheer size of the province we live in comes into focus. I made the trip recently with friends Dan Rothenbush and Michael Kane. For Kane, 2013 marked his return to the game

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A24 - North Shore News - Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Atmosphere is welcoming and friendly despite accolades From page 23 after an absence of some 13 years, and Big Sky’s turf conditions and gently rolling layout were a nice way to ease back in. It had been one of the best summers on record (a dry July) and, for my part, I was itching to see how Big Sky’s bent grass greens and fairways stood up to the elements. As always, the staff at Big Sky were down to earth and welcoming. It would be understandable, if a little annoying, for a course with this many accolades to develop a bit of an attitude, perhaps a little hauteur. Not so Big Sky. From the clubhouse to the beverage cart, everyone is laid back and country friendly. We arrived in good time and dropped in on the patio at Big Sky’s Fescues restaurant. The temperature was in the mid30s and hydration was going to be an issue so we shared a cold, frothy jug of Whistler Whiskey Jack Ale. Our tee time was soon upon us. The starter gave us the lowdown on expectations of playing time and cart rules for the day. Walking up to Big See Ninth page 26

photo Mark Hood

THE par-3 fifth green takes runs beside the Green River and if there’s a breeze it can provide a bit of respite from the heat. At 161 yards, the par-3 11th hole, seen in the photo at right, features a heavily bunkered green surrounded left, back and front with water.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A25


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Creek. Teeing off with an iron on a par 5 or facing a 165-foot drop to the fairway can make you a better player if you relax and go with it. Twenty years on, it’s still impressive. I joined in the fun of the Queens Cross Golf Tournament recently at Furry Creek and it was more enjoyable than I remembered. The run of spectacular weather

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private club. This is a course that inspires passion at all levels. To be sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you approach it with a positive attitude, it can actually help you improve your game. Furry Creek’s secret (to some it’s a cardinal sin) is that it forces you to think: you must play the shot in front if you. The driver-mid-ironputter trance most courses lull you into doesn’t fit Furry



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THIS putting surface on Furry Creek’s 211-yard par-3 14th hole sticks out into Howe Sound, providing an intimidating target from the tee.

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IN the mid 1980s, golf began a surge in popularity that would see millions of people of all ages in hundreds of countries take up the ancient sport.

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A26 - North Shore News - Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Ninth hole offers a stunning vista of the valley From page 24 Sky’s first tee, it’s almost impossible not to be impressed by the sheer mass of Mount Currie rising from the flat valley floor, walling you off from the outside world. Stunning doesn’t begin to describe it. From there the front nine rolled on toward the mountain, the bent grass playing surfaces adding roll and distance, building confidence and adding to an already jovial mood. Of special note on the front nine were holes 4, 7 and 8. The fourth hole, at 600 yards from the back tees, is lined by thick fescue and split by a creek, very much like the 18th at Carnoustie in Scotland where Jean Vandeveld came to grief in the 1999 Open Championship. Careful club selection and accuracy will deliver you to a long, difficult green fronted by the creek on its final crossing of the fairway. The fifth and sixth take you beside the Green River and if there’s a breeze, it can provide a bit of respite from the heat. Holes 7 and 8 are funhouse-mirror images of each other. At 380 from the tips, number 7 is a crescent-shaped dogleg left with water all the way down the right fringe to the green. If you can hit a draw, this is the place to do it. If not, a fairway wood or long iron will keep your tee shot dry and leave you with a nice shot at the green. The eighth hole, at 393 yards from the championship tees, trades the water of number 7 for sand, and lots of it, to the right and the left. If you are comfortable with your bunker play, then letting it rip can yield a nice result. Otherwise, a controlled fairway wood will give you a decent chance to reach the green and putt for birdie. The 536-yard ninth hole gave us a spectacular look at the north side of the Pemberton Valley. If the front nine introduced us to water and sand, the back nine packaged them neatly together The par-3 11th is a great example. At 161 yards, it features a heavily bunkered green surrounded left, back and front with water. The setup is visually intimidating and you have to stay See Finishing page 27

photo Mark Hood

THE walk up to Big Sky’s first tee offers an impressive view of the sheer mass of Mount Currie rising from the flat valley floor, walling golfers off from the outside world.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A27


Finishing hole impressive From page 26 focused for a good result. The 12th fairway is split down the middle by a creek and the green is off to the left in the distance. The 16th is a dogleg right with water all the way down the right side and the par-3 17th, the longest on the course at 216 yards, has water front and right and nasty bunkers to the left. However, if I had to pick just one hole that summed up the course, it would be the 546-yard par-5 18th. This is as impressive a finishing hole as you will find anywhere. There’s water down the right all the way to the green, a generous landing area if you don’t bring your slice, and a creek running in front of the green. What it also has is a monstrous wrap-around bunker guarding the green from midpoint left to midpoint right. It’s worth pausing for a moment just to take it in. On a course that does nothing by half measures, this says to all comers: Bring it on. We finished up with photos Mark Hood dignity intact in the warmth of the late afternoon sun. THE fourth hole, at 600 yards from the back tees, is Back on the patio at Fescues, lined by thick fescue and split by a creek. The photo we spoke with a couple on a below shows the first tee at Big Sky. vacation in western Canada from the Netherlands. What they found exceeded their wildest expectations. The setting, the course and the service were above any public course they knew of in Europe. Try to keep that in mind as you enjoy your summer and if you get a chance, visit Big Sky. The Sea to Sky Highway makes it an easy two-hour drive, there are no border lineups and you’ll get one of the best golf experiences in B.C. Check it out.



From page 25

we’ve been having means the course is in the best shape it’s been in ages. Course superintendent Peter Bondy has kept a careful eye on the turf to coax the very best out of it. One of my favourite spots in all of golf is on the 14th green. This putting surface sticks out into Howe Sound providing an intimidating target from the tee. Once there, you have the ocean at your feet, the view of the mountains and islands, the scent of the sea and the cry of the gulls. We are fortunate to have such a facility within a few minutes’ drive of home. Even if you don’t golf, the Sea to Sky Highway is a beautiful drive and the restaurant in the Furry Creek club house is a lovely destination, particularly if you have out of town guests. If you do golf, the weather gods have been smiling and the course is in tip-top condition. Even if we get a bit of rain, as is forecast, it’s been so dry that it will probably make the turf even better. If you have never been to Furry Creek, go. If it’s been a while, return. You’ll never find it in better shape. Happy birthday Furry Creek.


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A28 - North Shore News - Wednesday, August 7, 2013

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August 10: Civic Plaza August 24: Civic Plaza 14 St & Lonsdale Ave 11am to 4pm Locally Made Artisan Products Free Musical Entertainment William Rolen Low // 604.988.6844

William Rolen Low was born on Aug. 3, 1913, in Elbow, Sask. He and his wife Gwendolyn moved to British Columbia in 1940. They were married for 67 years before she passed away. William has been retired for 37 years, and his current passion is playing the saxophone. His family and friends wish him a very happy 100th birthday.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - North Shore News - A29


NEWS photo Cindy Goodman

GREAT Britain’s Johanna Konta fires a forehand en route to winning the VanOpen title against Canada’s Sharon Fichman Sunday at Hollyburn. Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil got revenge for the homeland in the men’s final, beating Britain’s Daniel Evans in a three-set thriller.

Great Britain 1, Canada 1

Colonial comeback at VanOpen as Pospisil triumphs Scan this page with the Layar app to see more photos of the VanOpen women’s final.

Andy Prest

A British invasion seemed imminent during Sunday’s finals at the Odlum Brown VanOpen but in the end it was a hometown hero who scored a stunning victory for Canada.

Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil fought off three match points to defeat Great Britain’s Daniel Evans 6-0, 1-6, 7-5 in the men’s final Sunday at West Vancouver’s Hollyburn Country Club, winning in front of a loud and proud crowd that included many of Pospisil’s closest friends and family members. Earlier in the day another Brit, Johanna Konta, struck the first blow for the motherland, defeating Toronto native Sharon Fichman 6-4, 6-2 to claim the women’s title. With Canadian pride on the line and a sea of Maple Leaf red in the stands, Pospisil took the court for what proved to be an incredibly intense and entertaining match. It didn’t exactly start out that way though. Pospisil came out scorching hot, smoking winner after winner to take the first set in just 17 minutes. The 23-year-old Canadian, ranked more than 150 spots higher than Evans, appeared poised to finish off his opponent in time to make it home for an early supper. Evans, however, had different plans. The 23-year-old Birmingham native — confusing and amusing fans with shouts of “allez!” and “vamos!” — was a completely different player in the second set as he blasted his way to an easy 6-1 win. Early in the third set it looked as if Evans would ride the momentum all the way to the title as he built a 4-1 lead and then earned three match points with Pospisil serving down 5-4. But Pospisil fought them all off with some powerful serves to win the game. He then took advantage of two doubles faults from Evans to earn a break and a chance to serve for the match. With the match in his hand Pospisil won it in style, scorching his sixth ace of the set, seventh overall, to seal the victory. After receiving his trophy the Vernon native mugged for photos with friends and family before taking a trip down memory lane — his first ever pro match was played right there at Hollyburn, a qualifier for the 2005 VanOpen. “I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s like a dream, looking back to 2005 when I was playing my first ATP match,” he said. “Back in 2005 it was very overwhelming for me. I was just a 15 year old who obviously had lot of growing to do physically

and in my game and everything. My eyes were big and I was kind of looking at everybody like they were incredible players at unreachable levels. I was very new to everything, I was like an innocent 15 year old. Obviously it’s very different now. Coming into the tournament this year as one of the favourites is very different from when you’re 15 and happy to just win some games in a match.” Pospisil admitted, however, that being the hometown favourite comes with its own challenges. “I’m going to be completely honest now that the tournament is over — it’s really not easy,” he said about playing in his home tournament. “It’s very difficult, it’s mentally draining.” During his victor’s speech Pospisil joked that he likely knew half of the spectators personally. “It’s not easy but I’m one of the guys . . . it helps me a lot. When I play in front of a crowd that’s behind me I play my best. It’s a bit of a give and take situation. It is tiring and it is difficult, especially when you know so many people personally in the crowd, but then again . . . maybe I wouldn’t have won the tournament without that crowd.” The win bumped Pospisil up to a career high ranking of No. 71 in the world and also earned him a cool $14,400 paycheque. On the women’s side Fichman — previously best known around the VanOpen as the charming Canadian kid who played Martina Hingis in a 2012 exhibition match — fell just shy of a perfect week of tennis. On Saturday she teamed up with Ukraine’s Maryna Zanevska to win the doubles titles. She also played both her singles quarterfinal and semifinal on Saturday after rainouts disrupted play on Friday. That made Sunday’s final her fourth match in two days and Fichman seemed to run out of gas, although she wasn’t about to make the schedule an excuse. “(Johanna) played a great match,” she said. “I’m a professional athlete, it’s my job to be ready to fight every day. Every day is a new day in the office. Today I came out there and did my best. Was my best as good as it has been previously? Maybe not. But I tried my best, I tried my hardest and that’s all I can ask for.” Konta, meanwhile, is on a hot streak. Her VanOpen title comes after she won another Challenger tournament the previous week in Winnipeg. She, too, had to play a pair of matches on Saturday — on a wonky ankle that she sprained earlier in the week — but she admitted that Fichman’s double duty may have played a part in the final. “She definitely had a very tough schedule yesterday. I was aware of that and I came out here today wanting to be tough and wanting to stay in the match. I was expecting a tough match and she definitely did give me that and I’m just very happy to have taken my chances.” Sunday’s other final saw the tandem of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, both from Israel, win the men’s doubles title.

A30 - North Shore News - Wednesday, August 7, 2013






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RACERS blast off at the start of the third race of the North Vancouver Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Road Running Series July 27 at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. Scan this photo with the Layar app to see more images from the race.

North Shore stars join the scrum at rugby nationals

FIVE members of the Capilano Rugby Club helped Team B.C. win gold for the second straight year at the Under-19 Canadian Rugby Championships held July 17-21 in Calgary.

Neil Courtney, Reid Tucker, Austin Karius and Nathan Yanagiya all were in the starting lineup and Connor Weyell in reserve as B.C. knocked off the host Prairie Wolf Pack 15-13 in a thrilling final. B.C. trailed 13-10 for much of the second half before Vancouver’s James Pitblado scored the game-winning try in the final few minutes of play. The champs went undefeated in the tournament, knocking off the Ontario Blues 22-20, the Voyageurs from Quebec/Eastern Ontario 43-12 and the Wolf Pack 33-15 in round robin play to set up the final match. Yanagiya finished tied for first in the tournament with four tries in four games. ••• Several more North Shore athletes will be joining Team B.C. squads for the National Age-

Group Championships running today until Sunday at UBC’s Wolfson Fields. In under-18 women’s play Isabel Schlyecher of Carson Graham secondary will suit up for Team B.C. On the men’s side Ben Bethune, Jonas Blomberg, Tom Kanwischer and Jack Rainer will play for Team B.C. at the under-18 championships. B.C.’s under-17 TrueBlue provincial team will also be taking on under18 teams at the festival, moving up a year to challenge older teams from around the country. North Shore players Nick Allen and Charlie MacDonald are included on the team. At the under-16 level there are two B.C. teams with the North Shore’s Jake Tapp, Austin West, Tamar Tucker-Harrison, Keaton Armstrong, Ryan Gray and Sam Engstrom on Team Blue and Andrew Jones, Jackson Claridge, Nick Frost, Elias Ergas, Jake Musgrove, Liam Doll and Liam Mahon on Team Gold. In under-14 action the North Shore’s Mattias Blomberg, Aaron Tattersall, Chris Lloyd, Liam Gray, Henry Davitt and Ryan Agyagos will suit up for Team B.C. — Andy Prest

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North Shore News August 7 2013  

North Shore News August 7 2013