“Book” some time for library sale

Another Library Book Sale is coming up on Lynn Valley Day weekend, which gives us a swell excuse to show you this great video from the last sale, filmed by local videographer John Durrant. We know it will make you want to come out to the library on May 25 to 27 to see what literary gems you can find!

Meghan Radomske of the Friends of the Library – the group of library supporters who organize this twice-yearly event – said that last autumn’s sale raised $4312.90!

That money is earmarked for a new and improved reading lounge in the Lynn Valley Library. “[It] will include a fantastic new curved display case featuring new books, movies, upcoming events at the library, and information about the Friends of the Library,” Meghan told us. “More comfy chairs and cushions and more accessible computer stations will also be featured, particularly ones that can be lowered to accommodate people with disabilities.

Books not sold at the library events are donated to a non-profit organization called Reading Tree, which provides books to disadvantaged families, schools, and libraries.

“Joining the Friends of the Library is a great way to support North Vancouver District Public Library and to volunteer in the community,” said Meghan. Amongst their other duties, Friends members:

  • advocate for library services and fundraise for library projects and resources.
  • organize book-sales and other fundraisers.
  • help at library events such as author talks and District Library Art Receptions.

Membership is $5 annually. Visit here to learn more about joining the Friends or pick up a Friends of the Library brochure at your local branch.


Kids invited to paint the town red (and blue, and green…)

Kids, get your crayons sharpened! There’s a contest just for you this Lynn Valley Day, and since it’s the 100th anniversary of this special community festival, we hope lots of you will get involved.

Two of the colouring sheets honour the logging industry that put Lynn Valley on the map more than a hundred years ago, and one is some native-style art in honour of the first inhabitants of these shores.

Three to 7 year olds are invited to do their best colouring on this busy beaver. Eight to 10 year olds can go to town on this lumberjack. And 11 to 13 year olds can add their own style to this winged creature.

Use your imagination … along with crayons, paints, glitter or anything else you think will look good on your picture. Completed sheets should be brought to the Kids Zone under the main tent on the morning of Lynn Valley Day. Final judging will take place under the big tent at 2:30 p.m. that afternoon. Have fun, and good luck!


Want a new book (or CD, or DVD)? Just ask!

FROM LYNN O’MALLEY: I’d seen the invitation so often, I’d long ago stopped seeing it. You know the one – the “Suggest a Purchase” button on the North Van Library website.

Usually, I’m happy to have any excuse to purchase my own books, as my groaning shelves will attest. But over the past year, in an attempt to actually live within my means – now there’s a concept – I have been relying even more on our library collection. (Also, I actually had to do a modified duck-and-roll manoeuvre in bed the other night, when the three-foot stack of unread books on my nightstand came crashing down in my direction…. another sign, perhaps, that my buying abilities long ago exceeded my actual reading capacity.)

So when I saw an intriguing title reviewed in the Vancouver Sun a couple of months back, rather than reaching for my wallet I went to the library to see if I could put it on hold. And when the computer told me that particular book wasn’t in their holdings, my gaze fell upon that ever-present “Suggest a Purchase” tab.

Why not, thought I, and entered the requisite info. I didn’t think too much more about it, until one day only a few weeks later, when I received an email saying the book was not only purchased, it was waiting for me at the hold desk. What service! Never were our municipal tax dollars better spent.

Now I was curious – how many titles does the library custom-order for people? Will they buy just ANYTHING for you? Do they put limits on the number of books each of us is able to request in a lifetime?

David Johnstone, audiovisual coordinator in the Lynn Valley Library, was kind enough to answer many of my questions. “Last year we received over 2,800 suggestions from patrons,” he told me in an email. “Of these, we purchased over 80% of the titles suggested that were actually available to order.”

Suggestions included books (for adults, children and teens, in regular and large print); dvds, music cds, and audiobooks.

In general, David said, the titles that are ordered are (1) recently published (although they do purchase classic items as well), (2) available in Canada, (3) of general interest and (4) have received positive professional reviews.  Patrons can suggest purchases from home via the library website, or at any Information Desk in the branches.

“And – as you know – patrons who suggest an item that is purchased will be the first to borrow it when it arrives,” he noted.

But curling up with “my” new book wasn’t the end of the story. I wasn’t able to finish it by the end of the loan period, so I logged into the library website to renew it. Imagine my thrill when I found I couldn’t – some other North Vancouverite had placed a hold on it!

I was glad to find out I hadn’t wasted library budget dollars by asking them to buy a book that I thought might have a limited audience. Whoever my book-buddy is out there, I hope you enjoyed the read – I know I liked the first few chapters! I’ve checked it out again, and this time I’ll finish it!

Do you love your library? Then make sure you come out to the Friends of the Library Book Sale, happening on Lynn Valley Day weekend at the end of May. All details are on our Events Calendar.



Help plan LV’s future – your health depends on it!

FROM THE EDITOR: Do you consider yourself an opinionated person? If so, this is the week for you!

I can’t remember being asked for my opinion quite so often. Between the North Van District Open Houses presenting the new Lynn Valley Town Centre proposal, to tonight’s Healthy Communities Conversation Cafe, to a Cultural Plan Open House in the Village on Thursday, there is enough proposing, pondering, possibility-seeking and planning going on to satisfy the most ardent citizen activist.

Thing is, it’s not just the typical ‘citizen activists’ who should becoming out to these events. Lynn Valley is fortunate to be home to a great corps of dedicated people who pay attention to community planning, who take the time to think about the issues, and who give their feedback and follow the process through to its conclusion.

But the decisions being made now don’t affect just them. They affect busy, double-income families and single seniors. They affect our lower-income residents and our mortgage-free homeowners. And they affect our children, most of whom will have to leave this community to search out affordable accommodation elsewhere – unless, of course, things change.

At tonight’s Conversation Cafe, hosted by Vancouver Coastal Health, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and North Van District, North Shore Health Officer Dr. Brian O’Connor told us that as far as our health is concerned, district planners are far more important than doctors.

“The decisions they make shape the context of your everyday life,” he said. “Your health doesn’t depend on the advice of your physician; it depends on where you live.”

As just one example, he pointed to study that found a typical, 35-year-old male who lives in a walkable neighbourhood weighs 10 pounds less and has better physical and mental health than his ‘twin’ who lives in a lower-density, less-walkable community.

It’s also been discovered that children who live in higher-density, mixed-income neighbourhoods score better on ‘school readiness’ assessments than children who live in uniformly wealthy neighbourhoods, as they have easy access to a wider range of community services.

Finally, seniors who are able to stay in their home community have more social connections and lower mortality rates than those who have to leave their familiar neighbourhood.

Clearly, community planning affects every age group, income level, and interest group. Unfortunately, most of us are too weighed down with the busy-ness involved in the present to pay enough attention to the future.

Which is why it’s so great the District is doing all it can to make engagement easy, interesting, and – yes – even enjoyable! Take tonight as an example. Attendees were given a lovely, heart-healthy dinner and entertained by a live jazz combo; they heard interesting presentations, had the pleasure of having their views actively solicited, and even witnessed the evening unfold visually as artist Taraneh Erfan King used her felt pens and fine doodling to bring people’s thoughts to life.

So, please accept district planners’ invitation to get involved. Help ensure that our neighbourhood can be a vibrant community that is home to people at all ages and stages of their life. Over the next 20 years, it is projected that 5,000 people may move into this community – this is not a small project!

If you can’t make an in-person event, be sure to make time to review and comment on the proposals online.

A Cultural Plan Open House is taking place in the LV Village Community Room on Thursday, May 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. Details, here. (Heads up, an arts facility for the Lynn Valley area is under discussion, so put your two cents in!) You can fill in the Arts Office online survey, here (until May 18).

For all the information about North Van District’s proposals for Lynn Valley Town Centre, see our earlier blog post. You have one more chance to see the displays this week, and that’s tomorrow (Wednesday, May 2), at Karen Magnussen Rec Centre from 1 to 8 p.m. Online options for reviewing the plans, though, are available and we’ve given you all the details.

We promise you’ll discover something interesting in your perusal of the plans. Personally, I love the proposed idea of a “Rain Street”! If we’ve got it, we might as well flaunt it!

– Peggy Trendell-Jensen


Visions of the valley await your voices and views

There was quite a buzz around the boards set up near the Lynn Valley Mall centre court today, as district planners toured visitors around several graphic displays that gave glimpses into the future of Lynn Valley Town Centre.

Since the Official Community Plan was approved last June, planners have been hard at work developing implementation plans for different town centre sites around the district. For more information about the process, and the tools that will help you contribute your own views about the latest proposals, visit the purpose-built District website, here.

The Lynn Valley plan calls for a variety of housing, street-level storefront shopping plazas, community amenities (an arts facility of some sort is under discussion, for example), parkland features and pedestrian/cycle-friendly trail networks. It promises walkers protection from our infamous local rainfall – and even a ‘rain garden’! It’s quite a change from the current town centre layout, and gives residents plenty to ponder.

If you want to give an opinion, now’s the time – don’t leave it until the last minute. If you want to shape the future, you have to pay attention to the present! The Open House will continue at the mall tomorrow (Sunday, April 29), and in the LV Village Community Room on Tuesday afternoon (1 – 6 p.m.) and at Karen Magnussen Wednesday from 1 – 8:30 p.m.

To view the displays online, go here; to fill out a “report card” with your thoughts (which can be saved or printed), check in here.


Eat for Education! (Come on, it’s for the kids….)

Everyone loves a good excuse to go out to dinner – well, here’s a GREAT excuse for you!

The second annual Eat for Education has now come to the North Shore – specifically, to Lynn Valley. That means that a portion of food sales purchased on Wednesday, May 2nd at participating restaurants will benefit our own Lynn Valley Elementary!

The food-loving fundraiser began last year, when nine restaurants donated a share of one day’s profits to Mount Pleasant Elementary – giving it enough to buy the SMART board on its wish list. This year, the event has expanded to include over 21 restaurants and will benefit four schools. Lynn Valley Elementary is the only North Shore school involved, so let’s give it our support!

Participating restaurants are the Black Bear Pub, Mountain Sushi, Browns Socialhouse and Aristos Greek Taverna on Ross Road. Contributions from the restaurants’ coffers will go straight to Lynn Valley Elementary.

“All of us at the Black Bear are delighted to be a part of the North Shore’s first Eat for Education,” said owner Ron Slinger. “Being able to help out our neighbourhood school, Lynn Valley Elementary, is most rewarding!”

So if you ‘accidentally’ forget to do the grocery shopping or to thaw some meat for supper next Wednesday, you know what to do – have a guilt-free neighbourhood nosh, and know you’re doing it for the kids!

For more information about the event, and its organizers Jackie and Allen Ingram, see their “BC Foodies” website.


Kids clean up at Earth Day event

FROM EVENT ORGANIZER JODY LABRIOLA: A BIG thank you to all who came out on Saturday and helped with our community garbage pick-up event. It was a success!

We cleaned both fields for Argyle Secondary (and all around the school), Fredrick Road (between Mountain Highway and Fromme), Croft Road (including DNV laneways), Baird (between Fredrick and Wellington) and Wellington. It was so nice to see so many young teens and children. Our next event will take place Saturday, November 3, 2012 – so mark your calendars!

Another BIG thank you to Sugar & Co for donating the prizes for the top three (under 12) garbage collectors and to Lonsdale Creek Daycare Society for donating the snacks that were enjoyed after the event.

We define our landscapes as much as they define us – let’s keep Lynn Valley clean!

**If any Lynn Valley businesses would like to donate prizes, refreshments or snacks for the November event please contact me at jlabrio@telus.net.

Argyle students campaign to stamp out “R” word

BY DENISE NEWALL, STUDENT REPORTER: Argyle Secondary is constantly striving to make the school a safer and more welcoming environment for the entire student body. But now an Argyle club has taken that philosophy and created a campaign and Youtube video it hopes will benefit not just local students, but people in the much-wider world.

Over the years, many clubs and organizations have been established at the school to focus on the improvement of different areas within the Argyle community. Recently, the attention has been directed to Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to enhancing the community through one-to-one friendships between individuals with intellectual disabilities and other students. Simple acts like eating lunch or playing games together have the ability to change the high school experience for all students involved.

Best Buddies’ most recent campaign was the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign, a week-long effort to end the use of derogatory words “retard” and “retarded.” Argyle Best Buddies chapter leader Cara McGuire, along with other members, made presentations, encouraged students to pledge, created an awareness video, and more.

By the end of the week, 943 students at Argyle had pledged to Spread the Word to End the Word, and the Youtube video was viewed 2,154 times. With statistics like that, it is safe to say that the campaign was a definitive success.


A wall at Argyle displays pledges from students who say they won't use the word 'retard' in a derogatory fashion.

Start weekend with Easter breakfast

Planning your Easter weekend? It looks like we’ll have a mixed bag, weather-wise, but either way we’re encouraging you to get out and support some of our local events.

Start your Saturday with a pancake breakfast put on by the Lynn Valley Lions as part of the festivities being offered from 10 a.m. to 12:30 at Lynn Valley Village. The 10 a.m. feast promises to be delicious, and it has been scientifically proven that pancakes contain no calories when being consumed for a good cause.

And what a cause! The LV Lions – numbering just over 30 members – fundraise all year ’round and give back about $70,000 each year to organizations and individuals within our community. Wow … the least we can do to help is bring the family down for a Cook Shack breakfast!

There will be all sorts of activities in the Village that day, including a bunny hunt, and over at the mall there will be a magic show at 11:30 a.m., and Easter Bunny visits throughout the day.

Get out and enjoy … and if you’re not convinced that the pancakes come without calories, you can always burn a few off at the Team Finn Family Cycle up at the Seymour Demo Forest, also on Saturday!



New programs starting in LV Community Room

Spring has sprung, along with a new round of rec commission programs in the Lynn Valley Community Room in Lynn Valley Village.

Whether it’s walking, dancing, martial arts, skipping or talks on street sense and nutrition, there’s something for all interest groups.

First classes in some programs start April 11, so register soon! Check out details, here.