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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014

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Hyack grant still in limbo BY THERESA MCMANUS REPORTER tmcmanus@royalcityrecord.com

It will be at least a couple of weeks before the city decides the funding fate of the Hyack Festival Association. Each year, the city gives out environmental, amateur sports, arts and culture, community, child care, heritage and partnership grants. This year, the city reduced funding for several of the grant programs and redirected $241,000 into a new festival grant. On Monday, city council approved festival grants for the Arts Council of New Westminster (Arts to Go programs); the Downtown New For Westminster Business more Improvement Area info, (Columbia StrEAT Food scan with truck festival and the Layar Key West Ford Show and Shine); Fraser River Discovery Centre Society (Riverfest); Royal City Pride Society (2014 Pride Festival); Sapperton Business Association (Sapperton Days Street Festival); and the West End Business Association (12th Street Music Festival). Council asked staff to consult with the downtown business area about the proposed $18,100 in-kind costs for the Show and Shine, as it thinks there may be an ◗Hyack Page 5

Jason Lang/THE RECORD

On a roll: Gabriel Gagne enjoys the beautiful weather at Mercer Park skateboarding park. Gagne took his rollerblades to the city park on a sunny Saturday earlier this month.

Ruling means more budget uncertainty BY NIKI HOPE REPORTER

nhope@royalcityrecord.com

Monday’s court ruling on class size and composition will impact next year’s budget plans “significantly,” but it’s too soon to say exactly how, according to New Westminster school district’s board of education vice-chair. The decision will affect a proposal on how to resolve some of the district’s bud-

get issues, which Michael Ewen planned to present to the board of education on Tuesday (after press time). “I’ll tell you right now, one of the main things I was looking at was increasing class sizes, and at this point … I don’t know what that would look like,” Ewen said. The New Westminster school district is dealing with a $5-million shortfall it must pay back to the province and has had to

make a series of sweeping staff cuts to avoid going further into debt. Ewen said he’s not sure how the government will fund potential demands for staff as a result of the ruling. The court ruled that the province must retroactively restore class size and composition language that was removed from teachers’ contracts in 2002 and pay the B.C. Teachers’ Federation $2 million in damages.

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The Record • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • A03

◗IN THE NEWS City wants to silence train whistles in the ’Boro ◗P5 Police seek three suspects in recent stabbing ◗P9

NLINE EXTRAS Check out more local content at our website, www. royalcityrecord.com

Parent praises Burnaby schools Lisa Chao says budget problems in New Westminster left her son disadvantaged BY NIKI HOPE REPORTER

nhope@royalcityrecord.com

NEWS

City opposes changes to how ambulances are dispatched

NEWS

Pedestrian struck at Eighth Avenue and Fourth Street

OPINION

Uptown business plan full of flaws

ENTERTAINMENT New West performer nabs Ovation Award

ENTERTAINMENT

Revolver pays tribute to The Beatles

COMMUNITY

City hall looks for new planning manager

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A local parent is “blown away” by the support her dyslexic son receives in the Burnaby school district compared to New Westminster and says the improvement is due to a cultural difference between the two districts. Lisa Chao told The Record that she has noticed a marked difference in the way teachers talk to her and how they focus on students. And it’s showing in her son’s performance, she said. “He made the principal’s honour – that means that he has an average of over 90 per cent,” she explained. But Chao doesn’t blame New Westminster teachers, instead saying that sagging morale is related to the district’s ongoing budget woes, which have put relentless stress on teachers and reduced support for special needs students (the district cut 27 special education assistants this year). “I don’t want to say anything bad about the high school teachers, but I think after a while where you have yet another deficit coming and more cuts coming, this has happened year after year and not feeling like you necessarily have the support of the board, I think it shows in the workplace,” she said. When Chao sat down with teachers to talk about her kids – she has four – with New Westminster teachers, the focus was on what they can do as teachers and what Chao’s role was at home. It’s a different discussion in Burnaby, she said. “When I was speaking with the teachers at Byrne Creek, and that was all of them across the board, the overwhelming attitude was tell me about your child so we can support them,” Chao said. “The emphasis seems to be much more on the school than this is what you need to do at home.” The shift has made a difference in the

File photo/THE RECORD

School concerns: Lisa Chao, right, in 2012 when she and Kal Randhawa, left, were concerned about a math teacher at the high school. Chao has sent her son to a Burnaby school. support her son receives. One of the main differences she cites is the fact that her son, who’s in Grade 8, gets a support block in Burnaby. A support block is one class where students don’t have curriculum and they have a resource teacher to help. This was something that wasn’t available to him in New Westminster because her son was doing well enough academically that his performance didn’t warrant one, Chao said. “Whereas in Byrne Creek they recognize although he might be doing well enough, he’s not achieving to his potential,” she said. Chao has been a vocal critic of New Westminster in the past. She had an issue with a math teacher and her marking at the high school a couple of years ago. She is also a past member of the district parent advisory council – a group that had an adversarial relationship with the district in the past. Chao lives in the Herbert Spencer Elementary catchment, but her sons attended school (her youngest still does) across town at

Connaught Heights Elementary, a school she has been very pleased with. Because of its proximity to the Connaught neighbourhood, a number of Connaught students do typically attend Byrne Creek, but for Chao it’s still a trek to the Burnaby school, located in the Edmonds neighbourhood. Not surprisingly, Chao loves the idea of amalgamating Burnaby and New Westminster into one school district. New Westminster Teachers’ Union president Grant Osborne could not be reached for comment at press time. New Westminster board of education chair Jonina Campbell was unable to comment at press time. There are a number of students who make the trek from Burnaby to attend school in New Westminster, though the district’s secretarytreasurer Al Balanuik could not be reached to provide that number or say if the district tracks the figure. – Twitter/nikimhope

Playground doesn’t make the cut BY NIKI HOPE REPORTER

nhope@royalcityrecord.com

It’s disappointing news for families fighting for a hefty grant to build a playground at the new downtown elementary school. John Robson Elementary School parent organizer Ronda Field learned Monday that her daughters’ school wouldn’t be receiving the up to $100,000 they had worked hard to collect from the Aviva Community Fund. “We are going to have to see what we can do about finding other donors or seeing if we can

Last week’s question Do you think school trustees should resign? YES 62% NO 38% This week’s question Do you think Burnaby schools are operated better than schools in New Westminster? Vote at: www.royalcityrecord.com

talk to people who have already said they might help (figure) out where the biggest bang for the buck is because I’d really hate to think of 500 kids going to school in September with nothing but land,” Field said. But it’s not all bad news; the school will receive a $5,000 grant for making it to the Aviva finals. Families at the school have been working hard to raise awareness about the playground grant. They held a march last November and urged residents to sign onto the Aviva website to support the cause.

They want to get a new playground built at Qayqayt Community School, which will replace Robson next fall. (The name comes from New Westminster’s First Nations band and is pronounced Kee-Kite.) Field submitted the application to the Aviva Fund on behalf of the Qayqayt community playground committee last year. For now, Robson parents need to figure out a Plan B for the playground effort. “Now we are just going to have to try to come up with another plan and see if we can

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get the community support rallied up again and hope that we can get some other donations,” Field said. The Robson parent advisory group meets next week, and Field expects they will talk about the playground fundraiser. “The good thing is, even though we didn’t get the money we were hoping to get, we did get a lot of community support,” Field said. “We did kind of rally the troops and get people aware of the issue, so I think that’s a positive for us, even though it means we have more work to do.”

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A04 • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • The Record

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The Record • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • A05

City seeks to silence trains Agreement would end whistles along Southern Railway corridor

BY THERESA MCMANUS REPORTER tmcmanus@royalcityrecord.com

Queensborough residents could soon be enjoying more peace and quiet if a proposed agreement stays on track. The City of New Westminster has reached a memorandum of understanding with Southern Railway of B.C. and Port Metro Vancouver that lays out a process to stop train whistles along the rail company’s corridor. They will work together to begin the planning process needed to further explore and implement a process for getting train whistle cessation along the Queensborough and mainland New Westminster corridor served by Southern Railway. “It’s good news for residents along the Southern Railway corridor,” said Mayor Wayne Wright. “A lot of effort has gone into finding a solution and this is a positive step forward.” As part of the initiative, $1 million has been pledged toward implementation of whistle cessation, with the city and Southern Railway contributing equally. Port Metro Vancouver has also pledged to work toward contributing funding to this initiative.

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“This company was the first to A joint sub-committee has been created to work at getting whistle cessa- respond to the Quayside concerns many years ago and remains a good tion. The City of New Westminster estab- community partner,” he said in an lished a railway advisory committee in email to The Record. “It will be interestAugust 2012 to consider the issue of ing to see how this unfolds – remaintrain whistling in New Westminster. ing hopeful for success – or if this is The city noted that the train whistles just a premature announcement.” The Quayside Community Board have increased their impact on livabilhas been advocating for an end to ity as the city has grown. “They are understanding that they nighttime rail noise for many years. Crosty said it appears that are part of the community,” Queensborough will benefit said Coun. Chuck Puchmayr, the most from the memoranchair of the railway advisory dumofunderstanding.While committee. “Some of them that would be good news live here. They all work here. for Queensborough, he said They are starting to look at the rest of New Westminster it that way. I think also they also awaits improvements to understand the frustration train whistling. people are experiencing. They Jim Lowrie, the city’s are getting it.” director of engineering According to Puchmayr, department, said the city Port Metro Vancouver may James Crosty have some community grant Quayside board expects to complete improvements at Begbie and Front funding that could be available for the initiative and may also be streets this year, which would result in able to advocate on the city’s behalf for whistle cessation at those crossings. Roger Emanuels, the city’s manfederal infrastructure funding. “Southern is willing to start right ager of design and construction, said away,” he said. “They are going to the city has $500,000 in this year’s start the planning process. We have budget for those two crossings, as well a task force together with some engi- as an additional $200,000 for other rail improvements. If necessary, the city neers.” James Crosty, past president of the could shift those funds around and Quayside Community Board, said use them for whatever work is needed Southern Railway is to be commended to stop whistles at other crossings. See an extended story at www.royal for being a partner to this memorancityrecord.com. dum of understanding.

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Hyack: City puts off making decision about grant underway. “That is being undertaken as we speak,” he told council on Monday. “I suspect that will be another couple of weeks, three at the most.” The Hyack Festival Association has applied for $185,000 in cash and $40,000 of in-kind services for Hyack week, the Hyack float, Canada Day, summer concerts, the ambassador program, the Christmas parade, and staff and administration. Last year, it received $140,000 in cash and $40,000 in inkind services for its programs, which also included Uptown Live 2013.

◗ continued from page 1

opportunity to reduce those costs. Because of the ongoing concerns about the Hyack Festival Association, council deferred consideration of its application until a governance and audit review is complete. Coun. Betty McIntosh questioned the timeline for dealing with Hyack’s grant application, pointing out that the group is working on this year’s ambassador program and other programs. Gary Holowatiuk, the city’s director of finance and information technology, said the review is

In addition to Hyack’s grant, council also opted to consider new festival applications at a later date, with the exception of Fraser River Discovery Centre’s $1,000 request for its Family Day event, which was approved. Council has yet to consider applications from the Downtown New Westminster Business Improvement Area for a Columbia Street block party and a holiday party, and from the Uptown Business Association of New Westminster for Uptown Live (which was previously requested by the Hyack Festival Association). Council also approved

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A06 • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • The Record

◗ Your view:

To include your letter, use our online form at www.royalcityrecord.com, contact us by email at editorial@royalcityrecord.com, or fax to 604-444-3460.

Liberals should learn from costly mistakes

in the legislature, and the NDP, with just Once again our provincial governtwo seats, didn’t even qualify for full ment has spun for us a cautionary tale. party status. This one is rooted deeply enough in The Liberals were on a mission, the past to qualify as historic. and they tackled it with a vengeance. It was 2002. British Columbians had Anyone who had supported elected a new government the NDP was to pay for the about a year earlier. previous decade. It was a brand new governTHE RECORD Nurses and health-care ment. workers had already been put Gordon Campbell’s Liberals had trounced a scandal-ridden NDP gov- in their place, and now it was the teachers’ turn. ernment at the polls with a phenomenal A signed and sealed contract between majority. The Liberals had 77 of 79 seats

OUR VIEW

teachers and their employer – effectively, the province of B.C. – included such provisions as limits to class sizes. No more. The Liberals enacted legislation that effectively nullified that contract. And they virtually dared the B.C. Teachers’ Federation to do something about it. The BCTF took up the gauntlet – and took the government to court. And they won. The court declared the Liberal legislation illegal.

But like any a schoolyard bully feeling bolstered by overwhelming might, the Liberal government responded by enacting new legislation … which the courts have again ruled against, awarding the BCTF $2 million in damages. The hard feelings that the Liberals’ ill-conceived reactionary efforts have engendered won’t abate soon. But there might be some hope – if the government gives up its folly and finally gives the teachers their courtordered due.

Is compromise possible on transit? IN THE HOUSE

T

KEITH BALDREY

he increasingly serious game of chicken between the provincial government and the mayors of Metro Vancouver over transit funding shows no sign of ending. Last week, I wrote that the transit referendum scheduled for the fall faced a rocky road before actually being held. Now, however, the standoff casts doubt on whether that referendum will actually be held at the same time as the upcoming municipal elections. Transportation Minister Todd Stone now insists he wants the mayors to craft a “vision” of transit priorities, and he plans to use that to frame the question to put to voters in the fall. Good luck with that. Historically, the mayors have displayed little evidence of agreeing on how to pay for transit improvements. For example, proposals like a parking tax or a vehicle levy have been kicked around from time to time, but various mayors have balked at those ideas. Then there is the question of transit priorities. This is where searching for that elusive consensus really breaks down.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson wants a rapid transit line down West Broadway out to the University of B.C. But Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts (whose municipality is the fastest growing of them all) insists three light rail lines are needed in her town. Then there is New Westminster. The first capital city’s ancient network of roads can’t handle much more traffic, a fact cemented by the recent influx of cars and trucks avoiding the Port Mann Bridge toll in favour of the Pattullo Bridge, which feeds into the city. And so New Westminster doesn’t want an expanded Pattullo Bridge, which is what Surrey favours. Can’t everyone just get along? Stone and Premier Christy Clark are adamant the referendum will be held. But given the apparent unanimous opposition of the mayors affected by it, it is hard to see the point of carrying through with it. If the mayors don’t deliver that “vision” of transit priorities that Stone is looking for, what kind of question would he put on the ballot? Does he ask voters to approve some kind of tax or levy that isn’t supported by the mayors, only to watch as it is voted down? Because the referendum was a campaign promise in the B.C. Liberal platform, it’s hard to see the government bailing on it entirely, even though the

Dear Editor:

Re: Laneway housing is no solution, Letters to the editor, The Record, Jan. 22. Jim Hutson contends that permitting laneway houses will cause the number of demolitions to accelerate. This is unlikely. Growing numbers of older homes are already being demolished in areas that do not allow laneway houses. And when an old house is demolished, the developer will almost always build the new one to the maximum allowed floorspace whether or not this includes a legal laneway house. It is often uneconomic to augment usable living space by building an addition onto an older smaller house. Typically the way to get more value from the lot is to demolish the old house and build a bigger new house, or sell to a developer who will do the ◗Referendum Page 7 same. But if a laneway house can be built, the value

Brad Alden

2013

CCNA BLUE RIBBON

Laneway housing a good solution

CANADIAN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER AWARD 2013

PUBLISHER

balden@van.net

Lara Graham

Pat Tracy •

of additional living space on the lot can be realized without having to demolish the original house. Having the additional living space in a separate building rather than in one or more secondary suites makes the laneway house a good solution for an adult child who cannot afford to buy, aging parents, or for renting out to help a retired couple stay in their original home. Allowing laneway houses will tend to reduce the number of demolitions rather than increase them. Laneway houses can help preserve the character of a neighbourhood by allowing more of the existing homes to be retained. Thoughtful densification also reduces pressures for rezoning for apartments and townhouses. Lack of affordability is a criticism that can be levelled against anything that is built in Metro Vancouver, but it is not a reason to disallow laneway houses. Anything that increases the housing supply

DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING

EDITOR

ptracy@ royalcityrecord.com

lgraham@van.net

◗Laneway Page 7

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The Record • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • A07

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Laneway housing is a help ◗ continued from page 6

will help affordability, and building a laneway house behind an older house is less costly than demolishing the older house and building a bigger new house, both in terms of cost and ecological impact. Frank Norman, New Westminster

Council fears unfounded Dear Editor:

Re: Change stirs up fears, The Record, Jan. 24. There are a few glaring details that need to be corrected in this story. The B.C. Ambulance Service does regularly update its resource allocation plan in an effort to have the proper resources respond to a call. Example: if there’s a big motor vehicle accident, having fire trucks, ambulances and police all respond is prudent. When someone has chronic back pain that is ongoing for months, sending a four-man fire truck along with an ambulance is impractical. The resource plan is devised based on historical data and morbidity rates. Coun. Chuck Puchmayr believes the proposal is an attempt to reduce calls and offload to fire departments. There are currently no calls that are not attended to by the B.C. Ambulance Service; it is just the response time that is being affected. When in fact, the vast majority of the calls that have been changed from Code 3 (lights and sirens) to Code 2 (normal response), the fire departments are not required on these calls. Coun. Betty McIntosh’s view that some calls don’t require an ambulance lights and sirens is indeed correct – the majority of “medical assist” calls that fire trucks respond to, they are not required and they do very little in the way of patient care. Coun. Bill Harper states the fire chief voiced concerns (He said some calls now being serviced by ambulances wouldn’t

be in the future) – this is entirely false. All calls will always be attended by the B.C. Ambulance Service, it is just the response time that will change. Harper also says that fire trucks will be on the road more as they will be responding to calls that “would have been” served by B.C. Ambulance; again there are no calls the ambulance service will not attend to, so the call volume for fire departments has not changed. Part of the long-term plan for the changes was to remove the fire departments from even responding to these medical calls because statistics show that they are not needed, nor have any impact on patient care. However, due to political wrangling from the Fire Chiefs Association and B.C. Ambulance management, fire trucks still continue to respond to medical assist calls in an attempt to keep their call volume numbers up – which ultimately support their increasing budgets. I do hope a representative from the B.C. Ambulance Service will attend a future council meeting to help clear up some of the misinformation that is being presented to the public. Edward Roberts, by email

Keep annoying the critics Dear Editor:

Re: So we don’t need God?, Letters to the editor, The Record, Jan. 22. Just wish to assure Martin van den Hooven that the people who are responsible for the sign on McBride that states: Without God. We are all good – confirm that their hatred of Christianity is fundamentalist in concept and that, besides contributing to the national reservoir of stupidity, they obviously don’t get out much. That said, we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible.

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Referendum: Can it be postponed? ◗ continued from page 6

Opposition New Democrats are calling for it to be scrapped. Part of the sensitivity here is the painful lesson learned from the HST debacle: don’t spring a new tax on voters without getting their approval first, or before at least spending a long time educating them about the need for it. A possible compromise here would be to hold the referendum at a later date. As I noted last week, a number of mayors are spooked at asking voters to approve a new revenue measure in a referendum at the same time they are seeking re-election. A better, and more workable, option may be to hold the referendum next spring or even next fall. After all, even in the unlikelihood of a refer-

endum question being approved by the voters in the fall, no new transit project is going to be built anytime soon. Whether it’s the UBC rapid transit line or a Surrey light rail line or a further extension of SkyTrain, any such project won’t begin being built for at least a year anyway. So there is no urgent need to have the referendum in the fall. The premier says she favours the fall vote because voters will be more focused, and she argues that an election is the perfect time for a debate to occur around issues and policies. She may be right about that, but voter turnout in municipal elections is usually quite low. Given what’s at stake regarding potential transit improve-

ments (there are about $20 billion worth of projects on various drawing boards) surely the best scenario is to hold a referendum when there is more enthusiasm for it. The provincial government needs the mayors to buy into this scheme. And the mayors need to put aside their parochial positions and come up with a regional plan (however difficult it may be to achieve that). The government, having been elected with a transit referendum as part of its campaign platform, can legitimately argue the voters have endorsed such a thing. But the mayors can also argue they are beholden to their constituents – and not the region – at election time. Keith Baldrey is chief political reporter for Global B.C.

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A08 • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • The Record

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The Record • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • A09

Three suspects sought in ’Borough stabbing

New Westminster police are searching for three suspects after a Richmond youth was stabbed Wednesday afternoon. At 2:10 p.m. on Jan. 22, officers were called to a home in the 1300 block of Salter Street. When police arrived they found a young man suffering from a “significant stab wound,” according to a media release. The 18-year-old victim was taken to hospital, where he remains in serious but stable condition. Police expect him to survive, the release added. New Westminster’s major crime unit has taken over the investigation and is searching for three suspects they believe are involved in the incident.

The first suspect was seen carrying a knife and wearing a grey hoodie. He is described as Caucasian, 19 to 20 years old with a medium build. The second suspect is also Caucasian, 19 years old with a small build. He was seen wearing a black, long-sleeve shirt and blue jeans. The third suspect is Caucasian, 20 years old, weighs 180 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. According to police, the incident was targeted, but it is unclear whether there is any gang connection. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Const. Dave Dorazio at 604-525-5411. – Cayley Dobie

Teachers: ‘Relieved’ by court ruling according to a report in The Province. early to say what the court ruling will “It’s very good news,” Osborne said. mean for the cash-strapped school district, “Teachers have been pointing this out.” but he is “relieved” by the results. Griffin also concluded the government “We’ve been fighting this for did not negotiate in good faith a long time. It’s a good day,” with the union after the Bill 28 Osborne said, adding that the decision. The government was decision will impact bargaining “preoccupied” by a strategy to talks, which are currently underput pressure on the union to proway. voke a strike and gain political The legal fight between the points for imposing legislation on British Columbia Teachers’ teachers, she wrote. Union and the provincial govEducation Minister Peter ernment began in 2002, when Fassbender told the media he is Bill 28 removed class-size limits disappointed with the judgment. and class composition from the Grant Osborne “What we need to do now is bargaining process. In 2011, the teachers’ union sit down and look at the implicacourts found that the governtions,” he said, adding “it’s busiment’s action violated teachers’ constitu- ness as usual” in schools until the governtional rights. On Monday, Justice Susan ment reviews the ruling. Griffin found legislation introduced in The minister said it would be “prema2012, Bill 22, to be “virtually identical” ture” to say whether the government is to Bill 28, and therefore unconstitutional, going to appeal the decision.

◗ continued from page 1

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A10 • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • The Record

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The Record • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • A11

◗ IN THE COMMUNITY

Around Town: Book signing marks author’s 80th birthday ◗P13 Lively City: Music fundraisers at the Columbia ◗P17

Sharing a modern take on self-defence New Westminster man starts Meetup group to share martial arts and use of force training

For a video, scan with Layar

Dan Rheaume is the kind of guy you want to meet before walking down a dark alley. The New Westminster resident has been studying martial arts since he was a kid, he says. “It’s the typical story of a kid getting bullied at school; I wanted to protect myself. I was a child of the ’80s, I really enjoyed the ninja movies that were out when I was young,” he says. “So for me, that was a huge motivator to get involved with martial arts and my parents obliged. They JANAYA FULLER-EVANS put me into martial arts when I was a kid, and I’ve loved it ever since.” Now, Rheaume runs Heisei Budo Combatives, a self-defence group that meets in New Westminster and Burnaby. Aside from his training in martial arts, Rheaume is also trained as a defence against guns and use-of-force instructor, he says. “I’ve done almost every popular martial art you can think of. It felt a little lacking, honestly, in some reality,” he says. “Basically, I’ve evolved what I do into a more general self-defence course without a lot of traditionalism behind it. We really believe in the human stress response and working with it instead of against it.” He incorporates his knowledge of the criminal code and what levels of force civilians can use to defend themselves into the training, he says. “Being a use-of-force instructor, I am familiar with the criminal code and what options are available to civilians in terms of what their levels of force can be. And I always try to keep that in context with the course, just so that people know that it isn’t ancient Japan where you can take out a short sword and start hacking people up,” he says. “Those skills are great for the historical value, but they’re not really practical for people living in a city in the 21st century.” A big focus is de-escalating situations verbally so that force isn’t necessary, he adds. His group is also posted on Meetup.

ON MY BEAT

Jason Lang/THE RECORD

Forceful presence: Meetup group leader Dan W. Rheaume practises self-defence – using fake weapons – during a session at the SFU squash courts. The group also rents community halls in New Westminster. com, under New Westminster Defensive Tactics Training. They do pressure testing using protective suits, he says, and do some sparring – tailored to each individual – to see what works under stress. The group rents community halls in churches in New Westminster and also meets at Simon Fraser University, where two of the members are students, he says. Rheaume started the group instead of opening his own school primarily because he was looking for people to spar with, not a commercial venture, he says. “I’m doing it mainly for myself, and I can’t do it by myself, so I want other people to practise with, basically,” he says, adding some people are also intimidated by the commitment and time that joining a school requires. The group has a weekly free drop-in in New Westminster and meets at other locations, as well.

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The Meetup group lists 25 members, but Rheaume says only a handful have actually come to the drop-ins. “Of the several individuals that joined the actual Meetup group, I’ve seen a few of them come in,” he says. “I was actually surprised that not as many that signed up for the group have actually come by.” The group is primarily made up of men, but some women do attend, as well, according to Rheaume. He plans to offer women’s self-defence courses at Queensborough Community Centre this spring. As for the usefulness of the training, Rheaume quotes an old expression, “When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.” “You are responsible for your own personal safety,” he adds. “The police are there, and they do a good job, but they’re there to investigate after the fact in most

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cases.” Darcey MacInnes, a Vancouver resident, joined the group last summer. “I was looking for a non-traditional martial arts system,” he wrote in an email to The Record, as he was on his way to Japan. “I can respect and appreciate the traditions of martial arts, but at this point in my life, I was looking for something more practical.” He likes the group, he says, and appreciates the way Rheaume works with each member. “There isn’t a lot of b.s. or fluff with Dan’s system,” MacInnes says. “You learn practical skills for real world situations.” MacInnes has studied martial arts – taekwondo and karate – for more than 20 years. He found the group online, he says, and has used Meetup in the past, when he ran his own business. ◗Meetup Page 13

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The Record • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • A13

Book signing marks author’s 80th birthday AROUND TOWN

THERESA MCMANUS

S

ome people celebrate birthday milestones with big family gatherings or trips, but Evelyn Benson will be signing copies of her latest book. Benson will be doing a book signing at Black Bond Books in Royal City Centre on Saturday, Feb. 1 from noon to 2 p.m., a day before she celebrates her 80th birthday. Benson’s book, A Century In a Small Town – One Family’s Stories, sold well over the holidays, but she’s still hard at work promoting the book. “Promotion is hard work,” she recently told her daughter Janet. “I should have written this book when I was 60 – not 80.” Janet tells The Record a followup book could be in the making, as her mom has been compiling a list of other stories and anecdotes that didn’t make the book; she’s already up to 84. “She is an inspiration to all of us, but especially to other seniors. Her motto is it’s never too late,” Janet wrote in an email to The

Record. “She always urges her audience and her readers to write their family stories down or record them for future generations. She believes that everyone has stories to tell, which will be lost when they pass away.”

Greener bills

The City of New Westminster is aiming to make it easier for people to pay their bills. The city is now providing an eBilling option for city utility services, part of its efforts to commit to environmentally sustainable practices. “We embrace opportunities that better protect the environment and reduce paper use,” said Mayor Wayne Wright in a press release. “The implementation of eBilling is another way we are able to do our part.” Utility customers can register their accounts and sign up for eBilling through MyCity, the city’s secure online account management portal. Once customers are registered, they will receive their bills by email when their account is ready for viewing.

Uptown question

An event that drew a younger crowd to uptown New Westminster may or

may not take place this summer. Uptown businesses partnered with the Hyack Festival Association for the Uptown Live events in 2012 and 2013. The festivals featured performances on stages in the Uptown area, as well as food trucks, kids’ activities and booths by various organizations. Bart Slotman, vicepresident of the Uptown Property Group, which was one of the event’s sponsors, couldn’t say whether Uptown Live will take place this year “We are basically waiting to see how things shake out. We would like to do Uptown Live again. As you know a lot of things are up in the air. We are just basically sitting back and seeing how it all pans out with Hyack and the granting and those things,” Slotman said. “We will see what happens. It is too early to tell.”

Brian Murata, a Burnaby resident, found the group on Facebook, not Meetup. “I actually met Dan on Facebook, coming on two years ago,” he says. “I started networking with him, and that’s how I came across Heisei Budo.” He’s studied martial arts for 15 years, he says, starting with karate. The practicality of the group’s training is what appealed to Murata most, he says. “Of course, he’s (Rheaume) coming from the use of force background, so I knew that the actual training involved would be practical, easy to learn, but I’d

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also be learning some of the more important parts of self-defence,” he says, adding learning what the laws are, how to deescalate conflicts and practising pressure testing are some of the best aspects. The learning process is the most challenging aspect of the training, according to Murata. “They’re not bad challenges, they’re definitely challenges in which you grow,” he says. For information on the weekly drop-ins, search for New Westminster Defensive Tactics Training on meetup. com. For more information on what’s offered, go to www.heiseibudo.com.

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Meetup: Participants learn self-defence ◗ continued from page 11

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A14 • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • The Record

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The Record • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • A15

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through reflection, and brain fitness. The event also featured a keynote speech from Dr. Davidicus Wong, a family physician at the PrimeCare Medical Centre in Burnaby and one of The Record’s regular columnists. “There was a really receptive, energetic audience,”Wong said. About 100 people turned out to hear his thoughts on inspiration

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A16 • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • The Record

Celebrate Family Day in New Westminster! Monday, February 10, 2014

08=8: "$A "? 122 "@ "7? A6A$: 2"#1:8"$= "@@A?8$> @7$).22A! 1#:868:8A= 1$! A$:A?:18$&A$: 1?"7$! :"'$( ★ 97AA$=/"?"7>; +"&&7$8:% +A$:?A • 9:00 - 11:00 am Pancake Breakfast, Indoor Playland & more ★ Queen’s Park Arenex Park • 9:30 - 11:30 am Free gymnastics & trampoline all ages ★ River Market • 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Magician, Mike’s Critters & many interactive activities ★ Fraser River Discover Centre • 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Gold Panning with Yukon Dan, Fishing Wall, face-painting & much more ★ 41&="$ 0 • 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Tour last surviving wooden steam-powered sternwheeler ★ +1$1!1 51&A= <""2 • 11:30 am - 1:00 pm & 1:00 - 8:25 pm Swimming & water activities ★ 5?AA$;"7=A 8$ 97AA$*= <1?3 • 11:30 am - 12:30 pm Tours and arts & crafts ★ ,""!% <1?3 -?A$1 • 12:30 - 2:30 pm & 6:30 - 8:00 pm Loonie skates ★ +A$:A$$812 +"&&7$8:% +A$:?A • 1:00 - 3:00 pm Fitness demonstrations & crafts ★ Youth Centre • 4:00 - 6:00 pm Free family pool, bubble hockey and more Visit three sites and you will receive a Parks, Culture and Recreation Family Courtesy Pass More detailed information for each location on www.newwestcity.ca. Contact: 604.527.4567 $( /*!31&4()%( ,#( 23/3*"/4 -+001., 1' the Province of British Columbia


Musicians host fundraisers at Columbia THE LIVELY CITY

JULIE MACLELLAN

ive music and a good cause: What could go better together? The Columbia Performing Arts Society is planning to host fundraisers every month at the Columbia Theatre, to benefit local charities and provide live music at the downtown New Westminster venue. On Saturday, Jan. 18, the theatre played host to a successful show staged by Jerry Doucette and

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The big questions

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With heart: Jerry Doucette performs during a fundraising show at the Columbia Theatre Jan. 18 in support of Variety – The Children’s Charity.

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The Record • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • A17

ity on Lewis from Trinity Western University, and Dr. Mychael Gleeson, an expert on Freud – to talk about the two men and their points of view. The event brought out a near-capacity crowd “The good-natured sparring between the two experts added immensely to the liveliness of the evening,” says a press release from City Stage New West. “Following Dr. Hilder’s somewhat critical commentary about Freud, Dr. Gleeson pronounced herself ‘appalled’ by some of the English professor’s remarks and said – humorously – that ‘We can never be friends now!’, eliciting chuckles from the audience.” ◗Lively City Page 18


A18 • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • The Record

Lively City: Massey hosts music, movies and more ◗ continued from page 17

The play delves into the big questions – not the least of which is “Does God exist?” – and promises to provide a thought-provoking evening of theatre. It’s on at Galbraith House, and tickets are available through www.brownpaper tickets.com. Check out www.city stagenewwest.org for all the details.

Busy month at Massey Theatre

If you’re looking for a way to spend a February evening, there’s an eclectic assortment of events coming up at the Massey Theatre. The theatre’s latest events listings offers up a number of ideas for next month. Among them: ◗ Friday, Feb. 7: It’s a tribute to Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash, with Johnny Vallis and David James, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $42.50. ◗ Saturday, Feb. 15: The UBC and SFU Sikh Students Association presents their seventh annual Sikh variety show, Nihaal 2014: Jaagrithi. Proceeds are going towards building a new school in Rajisthar, India. Tickets are $10. Call 778-240-2228 or 604-7873437. ◗ Saturday, Feb. 22: The Backstage Performers Society presents A Night of Stars gala at 8 p.m., with a pre-gala reception featuring gourmet appetizers and desserts, wine, coffee and tea. Performers include Omar Khan, Laurell and Cody Karey. Tickets are $18.50 and $23, and the money raised helps the society to provide financial assistance and opportunities for young performers in the fields of music, theatre and dance.. ◗ Monday, Feb. 24: The Arts Council of New Westminster’s Last Mondays at the Movies series continues with The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a 2012 political thriller. Tickets are $9 at the door. For tickets to Massey events, call the box office at 604-521-5050 or buy online at www.masseytheatre. com.

Get writing

The winners of last year’s Royal City Literary Arts Society Write On! contest are returning this year – but this time as judges. The society has invited last year’s first-place winners to judge this year’s writing contest, which is underway until March 15. The winners in all three categories have agreed to

take on the job. This year’s hopefuls will have their work read by Jonina Kirton in poetry, Corey Levine in non-fiction and Antonia Levi in fiction. So who are they? Bios provided by the society give a bit of insight into the three talented writers: Kirton is a Métis/ Icelandic poet who lives in New Westminster. Her writing has been featured in a number of journals and anthologies, including Enlightening Times UK, Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out anthology, Pagan Edge, First Nations Drum and Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine. Her first collection of poetry and lyric prose, page as bone – ink as blood, will be released in the fall of 2015 with Talon Books. Levine spent 20 years doing human rights work in conflict zones around the world and now lives in Victoria. Her writing credits include publication in The Globe and Mail and Ottawa Citizen newspapers, and This, Embassy and Peace magazines. Levi, meanwhile, is best known for her non-fiction work on Japanese animation but is now “reinventing herself as a fictionista.” She has published three books of non-fiction and several short stories, and she’s currently working on two novels and a short story collection. Check out www.rclas. com for all the details.

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The Record • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • A19

◗ IN THE GAME SECTION COORDINATOR Tom Berridge, 604-444-3022 • tberridge@royalcityrecord.com

Skaters place in top 10 in Taipei ◗P20 Deadlines loom for Sun run training clinics ◗P20

First sweep puts Clan in third place BY TOM BERRIDGE SPORTS EDITOR tberridge@royalcityrecord.com

Simon Fraser University moved into a share of third place in the Great Northwest conference with a pair of wins over Alaska schools last weekend. The Clan came back from a 16-point deficit to defeat the University of Alaska Fairbanks 75-73 at home on Jan. 23. SFU then swept their Alaskan visitors, getting by Anchorage 78-74 on Saturday to leapfrog its opponent into third place. “We came out really strong. We knew (Anchorage) was going to pressure the heck out of us, and I think we handled it well,” said SFU senior point guard Marie-Line Petit in a school press release. “We knew they were going to get after us and we had to go to the ball and not wait for it.” Petit finished the game Saturday with 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Erin Chambers, the leading scorer in conference play this season, led the Clan in both wins, putting up 30 points in the win over Fairbanks before netting a game-high 34, including four key foul shots in the final minute, in the win over Anchorage. Against Anchorage, SFU jumped out to a 2110 advantage but let the lead slip away before freshman Ariana Sider of New

Westminster came off the bench with a three-pointer that woke up the Clan offence. SFU held on to its half-time advantage until Anchorage took its first lead with less than two minutes left to play. A three-point play by Chambers helped SFU regain the lead, as the Clan junior scored nine of the team’s final 11 points to hang on the victory. Sider had six points in eight minutes off the bench, including her fourth threepointer this season, while keeping her perfect record at the free throw line intact with three-for-three at the charity stripe. Against Fairbanks, Meg Wilson helped out with 23 points, including a pair of last-minute free throws, and 10 rebounds for SFU. After a poor shooting percentage in the first half, SFU shot 62.5 per cent in the second period, including 50 per cent from beyond the arc. Starting guard Kia Van Laare of New West chipped in with six points. The weekend wins over Alaska was the first conference sweep for the Clan this season. “We can’t lose any home games because that is what is going to help us make the playoffs,” said Petit. The Clan women are back at home against cothird place Seattle Pacific on Thursday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Jason Lasng/THE RECORD

Healthy contribution: SFU’s Marie-Line Petit, with ball, contributed 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds to the Clan women’s against Anchorage in NCAA Division II women’s basketball on Saturday.

Karate sisters pack one-two punch BY TOM BERRIDGE SPORTS EDITOR tberridge@royalcityrecord.com

Two Burnaby North Secondary students pulled off a rare feat at the Karate national championships in Richmond last week. Aya, 15, and 14-year-old sister Cassia Kitaoka won the gold and silver medal, respectively, in the girls’ plus-59 kilogram age group sparring at the national event. “They really are close as siblings and what helped them get to the finals was supporting each other,” said Burnaby Karate Academy sensei Sandeep Gill. “It was really unexpected,” said Aya, who was competing at her third national competition. “It was so hard fighting my sister, you get so emotional, and it was her first national.” The two sisters, who have trained with Gill for the past five years, were first introduced to the sport by their mother and karate role model, who was one of the

first female black belts in B.C. “I pulled a big sister move and said, ‘I’m so proud of you,’” said Aya, who also won a silver medal at her first nationals. The Kitaokas were two of 18 medal winners, including six national titlists, from the Burnaby academy. Alexandra Zaborniak, who won a gold medal at the earlier Commonwealth championships, won a bronze medal in the 14/15 girls’ middleweight class and a gold in the 16/17 light heavyweight division. Jusleen Virk also had a strong showing in the women’s division. Virk won gold in the under50 kg group and later took the bronze in the open division after a knee injury forced her to abandon her semifinal bout. In the open division, which is open to all weight categories, Virk defeated several national champions and a former Pan American heavyweight champion to get to

the semifinal. Brendon Ly won gold in the 16/17 boys’ plus-76 kg, while Isaac Mand won at under-68 kg. Josh Dhillon won Burnaby’s sixth gold in the 14/15 boys’ lightweight class. The Burnaby academy’s 18 medals made up half the total of the entire B.C. team and was 13 more than the entire province of Alberta. Gill says the percentage of competitive fighters at the academy is consistent with numbers nationally. The difference, he added, was the academy does not over emphasize the competition aspect of the sport. “Kids develop differently while working on their skills,” Gill said. Other BKA medallists included Zoe Fong, Vanessa Vung and Anisha Virk winning silver medals, while Derek Chan, Reid Lofstrom, Kyle Macmillan, Gurkamal Gill, Jai Sanghera and Kieren Quan earned bronze.

Photo courtesy of Gord Chan/THE RECORD

Headache: Aya Kitaoka delivers a kick to the head en route to a gold medal in the 14/15 girls’ heavyweight division at the national karate championships.

Women claim four mat titles Victoria Anthony and Helen Maroulis became the first two wrestlers to win four consecutive titles at the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association national championships. Anthony picked up her fourth national title at 109 pounds, while Maroulis duplicated the feat at 130 lbs. for the fourth consecutive year to help Simon Fraser University women’s wrestling team to a thirdplace finish at the championship meet in St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday. Justina DiStasio won a third national title for SFU at 170 lbs., while Jenna McLatchy earned her second WCWA crown at 191 lbs. SFU tied overall team champion King University for most individual titles with four apiece. King garnered 229 points to edge Oklahoma City University by two points for the aggregate title. Anthony reached the final with a technical fall over King’s Daisy Santos. She went on to place first by fall over Breonnah Neal of Campbellsville University. Maroulis also won her semifinal by a technical fall of Kayla Brendlinger of King, before taking top spot at 130 lbs. over Racheal McFarland of Oklahoma City. DiStasio beat Lindenwood’s Gabriela Guzman by technical fall in the semis and then took top spot with a win over another Lindenwood grappler. McLatchydecisionedher last two opponents, beating Leya Justi Luafalemana of Northwest Kansas in the semifinal. The Chilliwack product clinched her second national title with a win over Malexsis McAdoo of King. Junior Darby Huckle improved on last year’s third-place finish, taking second in the 101 lbs. final. Nikki Brar placed third at 116 lbs., while New Westminster ’s Monica Podgorski won by a fall over Michelle Organ of Campbellsville to earn a seventh-place finish. Jennifer Anderson, Madeline Millsip and Maegan Kuruvita also wrestled for SFU at the nationals.


A20 • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • The Record

◗ FIGURE SKATING

REGISTER

Skaters top 10 in Taipei Nicole Orford and partner Thomas Williams placed fifth in the ice dance at the International Skating Union Four Continents championships in Taipei last week. Orford and Williams failed to move up on fellow Canadians Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill and eventual bronze medalists Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton of the United States after the short program.

First-round leaders Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada placed second overall to the American pair of Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. Orford and William’s score of 133.42 was less than their personal-best 139.10 posted at last year’s Four Continents competition. Burnaby’s Jeremy Ten slipped to ninth place, despite a personal-best overall score of 208.51, fol-

lowing the free skate after posting the sixth-best score in the men’s short program in Taipei. Former Canadian junior national champion Nam Nguyen, formerly of Burnaby and now skating out of Ontario, placed 10th overall in the men’s skate. Takahito Mura of Japan and countryman Takahiko Kozuka finished first and second, respectively, in the men’s competition. – Tom Berridge

Deadlines loom for run clinics

Training clinics have begun for the 30th anniversary Vancouver Sun Run. For latecomers there are six venues in Burnaby and two in New Westminster offering the 13-week guided clinics to get you ready for Canada’s largest 10-kilometre race in April. Programs are available for walkers, novice Learn to Run, more experienced runners and Nordic walking. Clinic registration deadline is Feb. 14, so don’t delay. There are walk/run programs at Bonsor rec centre on Sunday at 9 a.m.; Burnaby Lake Sports Complex-West on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m; Cameron rec centre on Sunday at 8:30 a.m.; Confederation centre on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m.; Edmonds community centre on Saturday at 8:45 a.m. and

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Fortius Sport and Health on Saturday at 9 a.m. Nordic walking is offered at Bonsor, Burnaby Lake-West and Fortius only. For Royal City residents there is a program at Queen’s Park Arena on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and one at Queensborough Community Centre, which includes Nordic walking, on Sunday at 9 a.m. The proven SportMed training program includes weekly guided sessions with trained leaders, who provide expert advice, coaching tips and motivational support, as well as online technical support and information. The $139 plus tax clinic fee includes entry to the Vancouver Sun Run and other bonuses. For more info, go to www.vancouver sunrun.com.

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A22 • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • The Record


The Record • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • A23

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A24 • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 • The Record

Langley Farm Market PRODUCE

HEAD LETTUCE

RED SEEDLESS GRAPE Product of California ($4.38/kg)

Product of California

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Royal City Record January 29 2014