2014 Good Neighbour announced!

We are delighted to announce that Hoskins Road resident Lizz Lindsay has been named the recipient of this year’s LynnValleyLife Good Neighbour Award.

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Lizz is known to many in Lynn Valley. Now retired from her Vancouver Community College teaching career, she is more involved than ever with the life of the people in her community. She is an ordained deacon at St. Agnes’ Anglican Church, and the chaplain of the Lynn Valley Legion. But perhaps she is best known for her Sharing Abundance society, which she founded in 2009 to offer a place at which people in the community could meet around a lunch table.

According to the Sharing Abundance website, “Prior to the incorporation of this non-profit society, there was no place on the North Shore where community members could gather and linger over a delicious meal served to them by friendly volunteers. Our guests are new Canadians, homeless, folks on disability pensions, families and young people, seniors, veterans and those dealing with social isolation caused by disabilities, poverty and/or addictions. Those who can donate something towards their meal are invited to do so; those who don’t are graciously welcomed.”

There are now six community meals offered every week across the North Shore. Some are lunches and some are dinners; some are seniors-oriented and some are not. All have become places of  well-attended warmth and hospitality for guests and volunteers alike. Costs are kept down with grants and donations of goods and food. As you’ll see, sponsors include the Lynn Valley Legion and the Lynn Valley Lions – so when you buy your Christmas tree from the Lions, you’re helping to support programs like this one.

Wilna Parry of Kirkstone Road nominated Lizz for our Good Neighbour Award. “In my mind, Lizz is a prime candidate for the Good Neighbour Award in Lynn Valley. They’ve lived on Hoskins Road for years and years…. She’s doing amazing things, and is simply tireless in feeding the lonely and homeless. For the last two weeks I believe Lizz, Bette and volunteers served nearly 500 meals to people at several locations through North Vancouver.”

Thank you, Wilna, for nominating Lizz. We look forward to presenting her with the LynnValleyLife 2014 Good Neighbour Award, and know she will continue to serve as an inspiration to all the other good citizens of the valley.

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We heard about some of those other good citizens during this year’s Good Neighbour campaign! Here are some of our favourite stories. Thank you for your nominations, and we look forward to reading more next year!

Shula Klinger wrote this about her neighbour, Maureen Munroe: She is an extraordinary human being. Intelligent, warm, compassionate, unfailingly helpful and hysterically funny. When we had to make a rush trip to the ER, she stopped by with two pizzas for our dinner. I barely knew her! She displayed a tuly remarkable generousity and willingness to drop everything to help us…. She has taught me so much about what it means to be a good neighbour and what a really good neighbourhood can be. Our little corner would be good without her, no question, but with her it shines, it sparkles, and it makes me proud to live here. And besides, my extremely discerning children adore her… Which is all the guidance you could need.Maureen is like the heart of the neighbourhood.. The block party takes place in front of her house (heroic!) and she is the most hospitable person I have ever met. I have been so deeply grateful to have her close by.”

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Chris Trendell sent this in about her longtime neighbours, Jim and Martha Wright:

“The Wrights are quiet people. They have lived in Lynn Valley since before almost all of us who read this were born. Since their children have grown, they haven’t been the ones who draw out the neighbours by letting off fireworks in October or by clanging pots and pans on New Year’s Eve.

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Chris and her good friend, Martha

Yet, draw the neighbours they do. Over the years many people have gone to their door and started the conversation with “Would you mind having a look at this, Jim – it’s stopped working as it should,” or to Martha: ” When is a good time to split this plant?” or  “May I come over the next time you preserve so that I can learn how?” or “What kind of a bug is this ? Will it harm the plants?”

Even though their house and garden are immaculate, they never seem to be actually doing the work, as they always have time to put the kettle on and listen to your concern or about your child’s achievement.

Lessons could be learned from the Wrights’ use of our resources. Jim’s compost pile could have been elevated into the classification of “Art”. The 40% wasted food we evidently are guilty of certainly does not apply to Jim and Martha. Martha has developed the science of knowing exactly how much water to put into the kettle for a given number of cups of tea so that there is no wastage of water. Much of the berry crop on the sides of our roads is picked by Martha and within a few hours are in gleaming bottles on her kitchen counter. They have always had that attitude that you don’t buy anything you don’t really need. They were ‘way head of the curve on that one. And Jim was the one, in snowy winters, who with his small plow kept our sidewalks clear and the path to Upper Lynn School safe.”

And finally, Lizz herself nominated her own neighbour early in our Good Neighbour campaign: “Christine Smith constantly goes above and beyond for all of us. Her home is full of her kids who need a break on their rent and some Mom care, she always has the Vic’s and cough syrup ready to pass over the fence, even in the middle of the night and can be counted on for selfless support in any situation. Her support and caring for us, her fortunate neighbours makes our community a kinder place. We love you Christine!!”

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Thank you to everyone who sent in your stories and shared them around on our Facebook page. If reading these stories has stirred thoughts of greater volunteerism in you, please consider joining a community group such as the LV Community Association, the LV Lions or the LV Legion, pitching in at the neighbourhood school, or just taking time to lend a hand to those who might need it, as did friends and strangers alike following the flooding of this Lynn Valley home.

From the team at LynnValleyLife, thank you to all those community organizations and individuals who make this neighbourhood a safe and happy place. We wish you every good thing in the year ahead!

 

 

Lynn Valleyites run for school trustee post

Last week we posted some profiles of our Lynn Valley neighbours who have taken the plunge and are running for (re)election to North Vancouver District Council. Now we’re introducing you to three Lynn Valley residents who are running for the post of school trustee for the North Vancouver School District.

We’ve received permission from the candidates and the North Vancouver Teachers Association to post their completed questionnaires submitted to the NVTA.

So, after a brief introduction from us, we’ll let the candidates tell you, in their own words, what they see as the top issues for public education in North Vancouver. Be sure to learn about the candidates for all municipal posts, and come on out to vote on November 15th!

Shane Nelson tells us that his connection to Lynn Valley goes back to the late ’90s when he first met his wife here and took her for a walk near the suspension bridge. Says Shane: “We were both living in other provinces at the time and it took us until a couple years back to move here. We’re a short walk from the mall and love the neighborhood. Our kids make great use of the fields, parks, library and pool. I love the area: it provides a perfect balance of access to the city, a walk-able neighborhood and access to the forest trails and all they have to offer.”

Learn about Shane’s views on education here, and on his campaign website.

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Heather Skuse is a lifelong Lynn Valley resident and Argyle grad who is a teacher in the Burnaby School District. A parent to three children, Heather has been president of two elementary school Parent Advisory Councils, and is currently on the North Vancouver PAC executive. Read Heather’s questionnaire here and visit her website here.

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Jessica StanleyJessica Stanley’s husband, Martin Buhler, grew up in Lynn Valley and the couple decided to raise their own family here. Jessica calls Lynn Valley “a beautiful place with a genuine sense of community.” Jessica and Martin have three young boys between the ages of two and seven.

Jessica is an active community volunteer and has a history of involvement with the Lynn Valley Parent Participation Preschool and the board of the British Columbia Council of Parent Participation Preschools. She is currently am a member of the Ross Road PAC where her oldest two sons attend school.

Learn more about Jessica’s life in Lynn Valley and her views on education here, and on her campaign website.

 

 

Lynn Valley well represented in municipal election

Every year is a good year to get involved in municipal politics – after all, it’s often local-level  decisions  that have the most immediate impact on our day-to-day lives.

2014 municipal electionBut this year is an especially good year to take notice, thanks to the number of Lynn Valley candidates who have stepped up to run for councillor in the District of North Vancouver. Having attended a number of public hearings and other council events, we can attest that this is often a challenging and thankless job – so hats off to you all!

In order to get to know our Lynn Valley-residing candidates better, LynnValleyLife contacted Roger Bassam, Mathew Bond, Hazen Colbert, Linda Findlay, Robin Hicks and Glenn MacKenzie, inviting them to answer some questions about their decision to run (or re-run) for council, and their goals should they be elected.

Hazen Colbert and Glenn MacKenzie declined to participate, citing their decision not to accept what they would consider to be a campaign donation from a real estate-affiliated business. The other candidates’ responses are linked below, so please have a read of these Q&As and, above, all, be sure to vote on November 15!

Vote

For lots of good election information, including the full candidate list and their contact/website information, polling stations, voting eligibility and more, please visit the District of North Vancouver’s municipal election pages.

LV’s Mathew Bond: DNV councillor candidate

LynnValleyLife asked each Lynn Valley-residing DNV council candidate to respond to a set of questions designed to help readers become acquainted with their views. Read about candidate Mathew Bond, below, and see our original story for links to all the candidate profiles.

What  prompted you to run for election?

The dream my parents’ generation had on how the world ought to be is becoming more and more difficult for my generation to fulfill.

We need a new dream for North Vancouver. A dream that both honours and respects the legacy of family, community and the high quality of life that North Vancouver’s citizens have worked hard to establish. A dream that adapts that legacy to today’s reality and provides us all the option to embrace our role in the community. A dream that enhances that legacy and allows us all to provide that same opportunity to our children. I want to work with you, the citizens of North Vancouver, to make that dream a reality.

Mathew BondWhat experience do you bring to the job that you believe would be valuable?

I’ve worked in the family business, the private sector and the public sector. For the past six years I’ve travelled all across British Columbia, analyzing complex, multi-faceted transportation problems and implementing practical solutions.

As a Professional Engineer, it is my duty to hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and our natural world. This duty defines my character, which I have proven through consistent action in my personal life, my professional career and my dedication to community service.

From 2008 to 2013, I was President of the North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA). During my leadership, the organization blossomed. What started as a group of struggling volunteers with too much to do, too little time and no money became an organization with full time paid staff, over thirty funding partnerships with the business community and local government, and an engaged and active membership. The NSMBA is now regarded around the mountain bike world as a phenomenal success story. My leadership in setting a vision (and sticking to it), building the right team and nurturing the relationships and partnerships necessary to get things done was a key component in bringing the NSMBA to where it is today.

I offer you my well-rounded perspective, whole-systems way of thinking and passionate commitment to guide our community through the changes ahead.

What do you appreciate about the manner in which DNV council currently conducts its affairs?

I find that even though current members of council have their own views on the issues, they work together to make the tough decisions needed in our community.

What would you like to see change?

On November 15th, you have the opportunity to choose your “dream team” of candidates that you think will provide not only a voice for your issues, but the best perspective on the future of our community.

I hope to offer you a fresh perspective on council on three specific issues. I am an Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineer, implementing new technology to improve both the safety and efficiency of our transportation system, and I offer you a professional perspective on council to address our transportation challenges.

I am one of only two candidates under the age of 40. I understand firsthand the challenges that youth, young adults and families face and offer that perspective for the next generation of Lynn Valley citizens. No one person is going to solve our community’s concerns single-handedly. I offer a perspective for community engagement because it will take an effort from each one of you, contributing your own unique voice, passion and strengths to build the best community for us all to live in

Lynn Valley’s town planning process was long and, in some respects, divisive. What was your experience with this process, and what did you learn?

My wife and I are starting our family in Lynn Valley and I was intensely interested in what options we may have in the future for housing that will be appropriate for our needs as our family grows and changes over time.

I participated in the public process and what I found most valuable was having frank discussions with my neighbours and sharing not only our concerns, but our hopes for the future. I learned that we need more engagement, more opportunities for people of all ages, incomes and background to sit down and discuss the issues together with compassion. Each person brings a unique perspective, and only by promoting dialogue and understanding across all generations will we be able to develop the best solutions to make our community a better place.

What do you think is the most difficult challenge councillors have to face in their work?

Balancing the diverse needs of the community and making tough decisions when there is no clear best course of action is one of the more difficult challenges for council.

When emotions run high, citizens are passionately expressing their personal stories on both sides of an issue and none of the options available to the community are ideal,  a decision still needs to be made.

What do  you appreciate most about the Lynn Valley community?

I’ve volunteered in our community for 15 years (since I was 15 years old) and appreciate the strong feeling of pride, ownership and sense of community that the citizens of Lynn Valley share.

I moved here specifically to enjoy all the amazing outdoor recreation opportunities Lynn Valley has to offer. Within minutes I can be on a trail and enjoy the splendor of nature that sits just outside our doorstep. I appreciate always bumping into someone I know on a walk to the mall, but also the convenience of having the amenities of a big city close by.

What would you like voters to know about you?

Transportation, cities and sustainability are my professional passions and I spend a significant amount of my personal time attending courses, lectures and researching what the best cities around the world are doing to tackle the challenges we all face.

I am an outdoor enthusiast and an active and responsible advocate for outdoor recreation. Mountain biking is one of my passions and I strongly believe in giving back. I’m currently leading a group of Capilano University students to maintain and upgrade the Circuit 8 trail just 1km up the road in the LSCR.

I am committed to openness, transparency and accountability. I am proactively disclosing all contributions to my campaign on my website. You can go there right now to see who has contributed to my campaign, how much they have contributed, and how I am spending that money.

LV’s Linda Findlay: DNV council candidate

LynnValleyLife asked each Lynn Valley-residing DNV council candidate to respond to a set of questions designed to help readers become acquainted with their views. Read about candidate Linda Findlay, below, and see our original story for links to all the candidate profiles.

What prompted you to run for election?

Community issues have always been a focus in my life and running for Council has always been on my “to do” list.

Linda FindlayMy husband, Doug, and I have been lifelong residents of the North Shore, raising our two sons here and for me in particular, establishing my career here.    My motivation for running for Council of the District of North Vancouver is my passion for the vitality and sustainability of our community. I support a collaborative and multi-dimensional approach to solving problems and overcoming issues so that all stakeholders are acknowledged, recognized and included.

What experience do you bring to the job that you believe would be valuable?

Lynn Valley has been our home for the past 26 years…having volunteered endless hours to the Lynn Valley Soccer Association and the Lynn Valley Little League, which I’m sure many of your readers can relate to!

I have always had a sense of community service and over the years have been involved with many local organizations.  I was passionately involved with the Upper Lynn Parent Advisory Council for 12 years, serving the last two years as President.  I served the youth of the community during my 6 years with Scouts Canada as a leader, a trainer, and on executive.  I continued my commitment to young minds when I volunteered with Junior Achievement during my long career in the financial services industry.

For the past 10 years, I have committed myself to the Royal Canadian Legion and the veterans who so proudly served and those who continue to serve our great country and the community at large.  From these experiences I have gained much and feel that I can bring leadership skills to the roll of Councillor.  I will also bring honesty and integrity to the table and the tenacity to get things done.

What do you appreciate about the manner in which DNV council currently conducts its affairs?

There are many challenges to being on Council.  There is never a “one size fits all” in any situation, no matter if the issue is transportation, housing, development, infrastructure, rezoning or contract negotiation.

The current DNV Council takes much into consideration when rendering decisions based on factual information supplied by District staff, input from the public at large, consideration of effects on budgetary alottments and overall practicality of the offering/issue.  From observations  made from attending council meetings or watching online recordings of the same, this Council does its best to weigh all factors and listen to all participants that are engaged to provide the best outcome possible.

What would you like to see change?

More active community involvement in issues, council meetings, public hearings, etc. is required.

To actively engage in community issues is not easy and takes commitment.  It would be good to see more communication from the DNV to the community at large informing them of upcoming/ongoing issues and the meetings/hearings that would be available for the public to attend.

Engaging the public at large, not only through print media and DNV webpage, but incorporating twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media to inform a wider audience and generate involvement, is critical.  Community associations, community websites, like LynnValleyLife, and local service clubs also contribute to spreading the word and we need to encourage more of this in other communities throughout the District.

Lynn Valley’s town planning process was long and, in some respects, divisive. What was your experience with this process, and what did you learn?

Yes, the Lynn Valley town planning process was long.  I was involved from the beginning when it started in the 1990s.

It went through many transformations.  This was a direct result of the community becoming involved and letting the municipal government know that we were engaged.  We let the previous and existing Councils know that we were concerned about the liveability of our community.

Although it took nearly 20 years, the overall OCP for the Lynn Valley area addresses most of the concerns of the citizenry and those who wish to develop within our boundaries.  The overall community voice was heard by the DNV.  Concessions were made by all to contribute to the greater good.

The Bosa development of the Lynn Valley Centre Mall is the right fit for that particular property.  The developer listened to the community and presented a project that, although outside the guidelines of the OCP, reduced height from what was allowable for that piece of property, addressed community amenities, park space, traffic issues and aesthetic values.

We have seen many new developments over the past ten years within Lynn Valley.  River Rock, Dakota, Laurels, Highgate, Craftsmen Estates, The Evergreens, Branches, Lynn Valley Private Hospital, Balmoral and Sunrise have all been built and absorbed into the fabric of Lynn Valley life…and our Library and Town Square, a hub of family and community activity.  That equals one development per year.

In-fill housing, townhouses, multiplex (duplex/triplex) units are also a concern in Lynn Valley.  Aging homes on larger parcels of land have been rezoned over the years to allow for more density.  This has been primarily market-driven as Lynn Valley has become an extremely popular place to live and raise a family.  We are not alone; this has been a trend in most communities in the DNV.

A slowing in the pace of development, of not only multi-storey development but also the rezoning of residential lands, to ensure that new builds blend in with the overall aesthetic of the affected neighbourhoods and to ensure that infrastructure and transportation issues are addressed as part of the overall solution.

Through this entire process the people of Lynn Valley have demonstrated that they are a passionate bunch.  And I am proud to count myself as one of them.

What do you think is the most difficult challenge councillors have to face in their work?

The most difficult challenge Councillors face is balance.  Balancing growth with infrastructure.  Balancing infrastructure with funding.  Balancing funding from all sources, such as Provincial and Federal Ministries, Metro/Translink, developers and taxation.  Balancing the needs of the few (special interest groups of all kinds) with the needs of the many (the population at large).  Not an easy task.  A collaborative and multi-dimensional approach to solving problems and overcoming issues so that all stakeholders are acknowledged, recognized and included can achieve much.

What do you appreciate most about the Lynn Valley community?

The thing I appreciate most about the Lynn Valley community, is just that, the overall sense of community.  From the very young to our most compromised seniors, Lynn Valley is a family.  Lynn Valley citizens are supportive, understanding, inclusive, vibrant and caring.  We celebrate and laugh together, and we mourn and grieve together. We care about each other. There really is no other place that I would rather live.

Learn more on Linda’s campaign website.

 

LV’s Robin Hicks: DNV council candidate

LynnValleyLife asked each Lynn Valley-residing DNV council candidate to respond to a set of questions designed to help readers become acquainted with their views. Read about candidate Robin Hicks, below, and see our original story for links to all the candidate profiles.

What  prompted you to run for re-election?

I have enjoyed my last three terms during which many achievements were completed by Council. These included the completion of an Official Community Plan and the establishment of a Finance and Audit Committee, which I chair. Apart from the Mayor, I am the only Councillor with a financial background (CPA) and I believe we need leadership through a transition period with new Councillors.

Robin HicksWhat experience do you bring to the job that you believe would be valuable?

I have over 40 years of financial experience in business and local government. I have lectured and written manuals on municipal finance, including the provincial best practises guide on development cost charges and development finance. I also have a multi-generational family here on the North Shore.

I have represented the North Shore over four years as a member of Metro Vancouver’s Finance Committee and the last three years on the Utility Committee. This has enabled me to participate in the design and financing of the $1 billion dollar Water Treatment Plant near Rice Lake and the proposed Sewer Treatment Plant which will replace the current primary treatment at Lions Gate and cost an estimated $800 million.

The financial impacts of both projects are immense and in particular the major cost of the new Sewer Treatment Plant will be borne by the North Shore.

I have been involved in researching and presenting on asset management and I can assure you that our staff at DNV is leading the Province in sustainable repair and replacement of all our underground structures, roads and buildings.

I also have a multi-generational family involved in all aspects of the community so I have considerable experience in where we are and where we should be headed.

What do you appreciate about the manner in which DNV Council currently conducts its affairs?

We have no political party affiliations, are collegial and whilst often arguing from different perspectives, respect the varying opinions and move on after making a decision. We have often been described by external professionals as one of the most effective Councils in the region.

What would you like to see change?

I would like to research a more practical way of engaging with residents on important policy, development and capital programs. Many of these have enormous financial impact and unfortunately many residents only get involved when decisions have been made and then express their concerns.

Lynn Valley’s town planning process was long and, in some respects divisive. What was your experience with this process, and what did you learn?

I was a Councillor rep on the OCP steering committee and over an exhaustive three-year period went to most of the committee meetings and the public dialogues and round tables. We had significant input and participation from interested residents. The main challenges occurred when implementation started and many residents began to realise the wide ranging implications of the OCP and in many cases only then started to raise their concerns.

What do you think is the most difficult challenge councillors have to face in their work?

I see two significant challenges that both incumbent and prospective councillors face. One is the time demand – upwards of 35 hours per week and most of it evening work. The other is becoming knowledgeable of the many aspects of local government, from the unique finance and accounting methodology to transportation, infrastructure maintenance and planning and zoning bylaws. Without prior experience, in my opinion, it takes at least three years to get up to speed.

What do you appreciate about the Lynn Valley community?

  • Residents are most willing to adapt to change
  • The vibrant social community, especially the involvement of families and young children in sports and cultural activities
  • It is full of volunteers, a measure of the community

What would you like voters to know about you?

I have lived in Lynn Valley for 35 years and have three daughters, who all went to Upper Lynn, Argyle and UBC. They were all involved in community and school sports, soccer (which I coached), swimming, water polo, basketball, volleyball skiing etc. and also through the band program and jazz choirs.

They all live on the North Shore with my seven grandchildren and that is the main reason for my political involvement: to ensure a viable and healthy environment for all families who aspire to live in this beautiful community.

Learn more about Robin on his campaign website.

 

LV’s Roger Bassam: DNV council candidate

LynnValleyLife asked each Lynn Valley-residing DNV council candidate to respond to a set of questions designed to help readers become acquainted with their views. Read about candidate Roger Bassam, below, and see our original story for links to all the candidate profiles.

What  prompted you to run for re-election?

Our community faces many challenges and I believe I will be able to contribute greatly to creating the solutions that will help keep the District a great place in which to live, work and play. Key issues I want to address include:

Roger BassamTransportation – The recurring traffic problems at the Second Narrows bridgehead are impacting the entire community and must be addressed.  This requires a major investment in new infrastructure and we have committed to this and begun building elements of phase 1 of the solution.

Housing – The District faces a very real challenge in providing the assortment of housing we will need to meet the needs of our changing and aging population. The issue is not simply the cost of housing but also includes the lack of specialized housing such as housing appropriate for people with disabilities. We also must increase the stock of rental housing as this greatly assists in moderating the price of local housing.  I was pleased to champion a new District policy that sees new Multi-family housing assigned a covenant that prevents the Strata from restricting rentals. This will, over time, add significantly to the rental inventory but it is only one of many tools we can use to help address this issue.

Economic Development – Within the OCP economic development and sustainability are identified as key considerations.  However, we have not focused on this goal and we must re-visit this concept immediately else we will be losing an opportunity to include this component in the emerging Town Centres.  And as part of the financial sustainability of the community and protection of the ratepayers we re-negotiate many of our current shared service agreements.  The potential savings are in the millions of dollars and must be realized before we begin service reductions and cuts that may impact the quality of life for our residents.

What experience do you bring to the job that you believe would be valuable?

For the past six years I have been a Councillor in the District of North Vancouver. I have served three years on the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee and the Board of Directors- NV Chamber of Commerce.

I have management experience in both the retail and IT industries.  For the past 16 years I have been involved in various community groups and served on numerous committees including: Parks and Natural Environment committee, Metro Labour Relations (alternate), President of Millar’s Soccer League, Sports Council, Chair – Field User Capital Fund, JBAC, Joint Use Committee, and the District Advisory Oversight Committee.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and am currently completing my MBA.

What do you appreciate about the manner in which DNV council currently conducts its affairs?

I believe Council has been very productive because while we have routinely disagreed with each other we have done so respectfully. We rely on the collective wisdom of Council to make good decisions for our community. Individual Council members will sometimes find themselves in the minority on a vote, and that’s how a good democracy works.

We also have an excellent senior management team that provides great leadership for the organization.  The District is a routinely cited as a well-run municipality and we are proud of that reputation.

What would you like to see change?

I would like to see more participation from the citizens in all areas of the District.  We need to find new ways to engage our busy population and get their feedback on how they want to see their community evolve and improve.

Lynn Valley’s town planning process was long and, in some respects, divisive. What was your experience with this process, and what did you learn?

The learning lesson here was that by taking our time and thoroughly engaging with the community we can come to a consensus.  People are willing to engage but want to have a comprehensive understanding of the issue before they make a major decision.  In the end it takes longer and may cost some more money but the fulsome engagement allowed for an excellent process and result.

What do you think is the most difficult challenge councillors have to face in their work?

The learning curve is immense.  Councillors deal with an amazingly wide array of subjects and need to be able to quickly understand the issue, discern the options available to us  and make sound decisions.  We cover everything from Police and Fire Services right through dogs of leash and trees.  One truly must be a Jack of all trades to excel in this role.

What do  you appreciate most about the Lynn Valley community?

That Lynn Valley is a COMMUNITY.  I love when we come together for Lynn Valley Days, the concert series or the Olympic festival. There is a strong sense of belonging and fierce desire to protect our natural areas.  It is truly a great place to live and, for me, to raise my children.

What would you like voters to know about you?

I have strong ties to the Lynn Valley community.  My children attend Ross Road Elementary and will soon be in Argyle.  I enjoy meeting my neighbours regularly, often on the soccer field as both a coach and player, and I understand what our community wants.

I share in the frustrations we have felt recently over the traffic problems and delays.  I am committed to keeping our community a great place to live and I specifically am focused on addressing the traffic issue.  I invite you to my website to see some specifics on how we can solve this problem.

 

It’s time to find this year’s Good Neighbour!

If you’re tired of reading bad news in the headlines, you’ll love our third annual Good Neighbour Award!

Each year we put out the call for nominations, and every year you send us wonderful stories of the people around you who help the world in ways large and small. We hear about casserole-makers and cookie-bakers; charity organizers and cheerful helpers; faithful housesitters, handyman husbands, animal lovers and more. There is, of course, no way to choose from amongst all these marvellous folks to pick just ONE Good Neighbour of the Year, so we draw one name to represent ALL the good neighbours of Lynn Valley.

Last year, we were proud to present the LynnValleyLife Good Neighbour plaque and a basket of local prizes to Gord Trousdell, who inspired many people on his street with his kindness to all. The year previous, our Good Neighbour award went to Rosemary Postlethwaite of Lynn Valley United Church. Now who will be the LynnValleyLife Good Neighbour for 2014? We’re looking forward to finding out!

Please send us your story about the person in our community who you would love to see recognized for their good-heartedness (it doesn’t have to be one of your next-door neighbours, but it does have to be a Lynn Valley resident!) In the weeks before Christmas, we will share our favourite stories on the website and draw from amongst them the recipient of the 2014 Good Neighbour Award.

While quantities last, everyone who takes the time to nominate a good citizen of Lynn Valley will receive a copy of Wintertide, a collection of stories, memories, recipes and photos celebrating Christmas on the North Shore. It makes for lovely holiday reading – and a great gift!

As always the winner will receive a special plaque and a gift basket of local treats. We always find something to reward the person who nominated them, too!

Please send your story (just a paragraph or two will do, doesn’t have to be fancy) to info@LynnValleyLife.com. (Don’t wait too long, either – we hate to say it, but Christmas will be here before you know it!) All entries are due by Friday, December 19. Please include your name and contact information, as well as that of the person you are nominating.

The announcement will be made at a community event in the weeks just preceding Christmas. We look forward to reading your stories over the weeks to come, and learning more about our neighbourhood angels-in-action!

Online project offers glimpse into Draycott’s war years

Some current-day citizens of Lynn Valley knew Walter Draycott when he was alive. Most of us, however, know Walter as the man sitting on the bench, immortalized in bronze, in Pioneer Park on the corner of Lynn Valley Road and Mountain Highway. Others know him best from the pages of his excellent community history, Early Days in Lynn Valley, a must-have book usually available for purchase at the Community History Centre in the old Lynn Valley school.

Now, however, there is another, more intimate way to get to know him: from the pages of his own diary, in an online chronicle of his years spent as a military sketch artist in World War One. The unique project will unfold, one day at a time, each diary entry posted exactly 100 years after it was written. The North Vancouver Museum and Archives sent out the following press release today, and for a wonderful short video description of the project, click here.

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Walter DraycoOn September 13, 2014, the North Vancouver Museum & Archives launched a unique online project documenting and contextualizing one man’s experience of World War I. In commemoration of the centenary of the War, each of Walter Draycott’s war-time diary entries is being posted 100 years from the day it was written. The project, entitled “Walter Draycott’s Great War Chronicle” spans the four years of the War between 1914 and 1918. It will be updated daily between 2014 and 2018, with personal photographs, battlefield drawings, and other materials, complementing Walter’s terse diary entries.

An early settler in Lynn Valley,  Walter Draycott answered the call for men at the start of World War I. By the end of 1914 he was thrust into combat on the Western Front as part of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

Years later, upon his death at the age of 102, Walter left his entire life-time’s set of diaries (1907-1985) to the North Vancouver Museum and Archives (NVMA). According to Archivist Janet Turner, “NVMA staff has long been intrigued with Walter’s life, the documents he left behind, and in particular, the tiny volumes that recorded his years as a soldier and military topographer.”

“The 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War this year provides a perfect opportunity to share these unique materials with Canadians and the world,” Turner explains. “Walter Draycott’s personal records are significant because they provide an entry point into the momentous changes that were taking place at the time.”

Throughout the website, audio, essays, photographs, and other resources help connect Walter’s words to a rapidly shifting political, economic, and cultural landscape. Many of the significant diary entries are brought to life with voice-over readings by North Vancouver actor Gordon Roberts, veteran of the musical Billy Bishop Goes to War.

Yearly essays by BC military historian, David Borys, link Walter’s personal experience as a self-described ‘pawn’ to the unfolding global conflict. Photo albums help visitors envision Walter’s world with personal portraits, battlefield drawings, and images from his original handwritten diaries.

Walter Draycott Statue, Lynn Valley

Walter Draycott’s Great War Chronicle” is presented by the North Vancouver Museum 

& Archives with funding from Veterans Affairs Canada, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, Friends of the North Vancouver Museum & Archives Society, and the Canada Summer Jobs program. The interactive website can be found at:  greatwarchronicle.ca

Local has a blast with the Ice Bucket Challenge!

With the help of the Lynn Valley firefighters, one local teen was able to – literally – have a blast with his Ice Bucket Challenge, as seen on this video he posted to our Facebook page on August 22. This freeze-frame might make you feel frozen indeed!

Sam Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral and then some this summer, raising over $22 million in funding for the ALS Association. ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Participants in the challenge, which entails dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head and challenging others to do the same and/or donate $100 to the association, have ranged from average people of all ages to wellknown celebrities and politicians.

In this made-in-Lynn Valley version, Sam enlisted the help of the obliging Lynn Valley fire crew, who met him at the park and blasted him nearly off his feet in the name of a good cause. Sam – who challenged a couple of his high school friends, along with DNV Mayor Richard Walton to do their own Ice Bucket event – survived the hosing off, and had many thanks for the firefighters who took part. Hats off, too, to young passerby Cole Diemart, for suiting up in fire chief gear and leading the blast-off!

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