Brush up on voter basics at Democracy Cafe!

We have all, at times, been guilty of taking our democratic system for granted. Many citizens even forego their chance to vote, despite the fact that casting a ballot is a privilege denied to many in this world. But more and more “ordinary Joes” (and Jills) have been taking increased notice of our country’s governmental processes in past months, and the upcoming federal election is likely to bring out many people who have otherwise stayed distant from the fray.

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The Lynn Valley Library is hosting a Democracy Cafe that will help all of us – newcomers, old hands, super-engaged citizens or those just beginning to show their interest – strengthen our knowledge of how government and elections work, democratic values and current election issues, and overcoming voter apathy.

The discussion is, of course, non-partisan, but is sure to be lively and engaging nonetheless!

If you have a first-time voter at home, attending Democracy Cafe together
The Cafes, held in partnership with North Shore Community Resources and other organizations, will be held Wednesday evenings in Lynn Valley, beginning September 23:will provide an excellent launching point for some follow-up dinnertime conversation.

 

Lynn Valley Library

Wednesday Evenings | 7:00pm-9:00pm
September 23, 30 & October 7
Call 604-984-0286, ext. 8144 to register. 

The same series will be held in other North Shore libraries on different dates and times if  your local option is inconveniently scheduled. Click here for times, places and (free) registration details.

We hope to see lots of people of all ages out at a Democracy Cafe – and, later, at the ballot box!

Send us your best Lynn Valley summertime shots!

We’re happy to announce that Jennie Angel has won our draw for two tickets to the Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia concert!

Jennifer Angel picJennie entered our “Summer in the ‘Hood” photo contest by the early-bird deadline… but there is still time to send us your best Lynn Valley shots for a crack at the Browns Social House gift cards! Here are the contest rules from our earlier post. All ages are welcome to enter!

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The rules are pretty simple – the photos should be taken this summer (June 2015 onwards) in this neck of the woods, meaning what is commonly thought of as “Lynn Valley.” The photographer should live in this neighbourhood, too, which we are defining as being within the V7J, V7K and V7N postal codes.

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LV United puts out call for music leader

Know someone with the gift of music to share? Lynn Valley United Church would like to hear from them!. *The original posting was updated on June 5, 2015*

Music Leadership Opportunity

Minister of MusicLynn Valley United Church

Lynn Valley United Church (LVUC) is on a holy adventure, taking risks to discover how “church” can support healthy communities, foster close relationships and bring peace to the world, by serving in ways that are new and uncertain. Music is a key component of the way we intend to respond to this call.  We have an open invitation to anyone who wants to join us on this adventure as our new Minister of Music. We believe the ideal candidate will bring:

– the capacity to spot leaders in any musical endeavour and nourish their gifts to help the congregation grow musically in all directions;

– the capacity to reflect theologically and to engage pastorally with people of all religious experience or none;

– the capacity for casting a musical vision in partnership with the Ministry Teams of the congregation in response to Spirit’s leading;

– the education and skills that combine musical excellence with a sacred respect for, and demonstrated experience in the process of creating community and nurturing spirituality among volunteer musicians.

Currently the Music Ministry includes;

–  leadership of the “Bring Your Own Voice” community choir,

– providing congregational song leadership in the traditional role of “cantor” and the arranging and coordinating of special gifts of music in Sunday worship,

– coordination of the North Shore Drumming Circle

– creating opportunities for the people of LVUC to explore whole new ways to serve the community and develop leadership through the music program.

And Lynn Valley United Church sees music as a key growth area in service to the community.

Reporting to the Minister, this 10 hour/week position (at present) is open to anyone of any tradition who wants to join us in our future.  Lynn Valley United Church uses the pay scale posted on the national website of the Royal Canadian College of Organists as the starting place for negotiating remuneration, commensurate with education and experience.

Interested applicants are invited to send their resume by June 15, 2015, to

Shari Gardiner, Chair, Ministry and Personnel Committee
Lynn Valley United Church
c/o 3158 Mountain Highway
North Vancouver, BC
V7K 2H5
lvuc@telus.net

Streamkeepers report boom in Hastings Creek smolt

IMG_4918While many Lynn Valley residents may have been coming home to a welcome dinner or stretching out in front of the TV Friday night, a handful of enthusiastic citizens were on the banks of Hastings Creek carefully placing a number of bucket-shaped, black mesh traps. And the next morning, they donned their gum boots again to see what had transpired while they slept.

They were volunteers from the North Shore Streamkeepers, surveying the numbers of year-old smolt in the creek to survey whether the fish population was healthy. What they found swimming in the traps put smiles on everyone’s faces.

As the fish were carefully released out of the traps and into a bucket for measuring and counting, Jan Lander tallied the numbers. The result? The best smolt trapping since 2006, with 27 coho smolts being counted, a large increase over the five or so that have been typical in the past few years. These are a sampling of the fish that were born in the Hunter Park area of Hastings Creek last year and have survived since then. Four crayfish and 12 cutthroat trout – many measuring 16 or 17 cm – were also amongst the fish counted and released.

IMG_4926The relationship between human society and waterways has not always been a respectful one. In  earlier decades, the enthusiastic growth of industry, building booms and road construction commonly resulted in polluted streams, blocked spawning routes, and diminished fish populations. Even home gardeners had a negative impact, by introducing invasive plant species such as ivy, lamium, and periwinkle to stream-side environments.

Thanks, however, to greater awareness, tighter bylaws, and good working partnerships the health of urban streams has improved in many areas. Leading the charge in Lynn Valley have been an active group of North Shore Streamkeepers who safeguard and enhance the ability of local creeks to support healthy fish stocks.

People of all ages converge on the streams throughout the year to tackle a variety of tasks, from culling invasive plants, installing and maintaining fish ladders, testing water quality,  restoring habitat and performing surveys. One volunteer even takes it upon himself to find out about new construction projects taking place near creeks; he then visits each site to ensure waterway protection rules are being followed and that filters have been placed in the storm drains. He returns to the site again once construction is complete to ensure the filters have been appropriately removed.

The North Shore Streamkeepers were established in 1993, and is a member of the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation. The Streamkeepers are a program of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which provides a multi-module training manual for those volunteers who wish to learn everything from performing a habitat survey to sampling water quality to trapping and identifying fish.

Mayor to take part April 25

The Streamkeepers’ work has been recognized in a number of ways – Morten Creek was named for longtime volunteer Zo Ann Morten, and Mayor Richard Walton will be at Hunter Park at Donovan’s Pond on Saturday, April 25 at 11 a.m. to dedicate a new fish ladder installed by North Vancouver District in response to lobbying from the Streamkeepers.

What they’d really like, however, is for more volunteers to swell their ranks and learn for themselves the satisfaction of keeping our waterways healthy. To learn more, visit the North Shore Streamkeepers website or email zoann@pskf.ca.

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It takes a village to make LV Day happen!

A year or two ago, Lynn Valley Day was voted the North Shore’s best festival in the North Shore News’ Readers’ Choice Awards. That same year, Lynn Valley was voted the best neighbourhood in which to live. Coincidence? We think not.

The same things that make a great festival make a great hometown. That’s friendly people, an engaged citizenry, a commitment to our shared environment, and lots of volunteer help when it’s needed.

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Free wellness activities kick off the year!

From the North Vancouver District Library press office:

This January, North Vancouver Recreation and Culture and North Vancouver District Public Library invite you to celebrate your health and wellness with a series of workshops and programs designed to get you active and living healthfully. [Ed. note: FYI, sign up for an annual or three-month rec centre pass between January 2 and 31, and you’ll receive a free personalized 45-minute coaching session!]

All activities are free, and no registration is required.

Yoga with Martine Fox
Wednesday, January 7, 10:45 a.m.–11:45 a.m.
Community Room, Lynn Valley Village, 1277 Lynn Valley Rd., North Vancouver

About Martine Fox
Martine Fox has been passionately teaching yoga since 2008. Creating a self-accepting and nurturing space allows her students to find their personal authenticity within the practice.

Walking the Trails with Barb Pichler
Tuesday, January 13, 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, January 20, 1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Walks meet at the End of the Line Café in Lynn Valley.

About Barb Pichler
For over 23 years Barb has led trail trekkers in exploring the magnificent trails of the North Shore.

How to Start a Garden with Emily Jubenvill
Thursday, January 15, 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Community Room, Lynn Valley Village, 1277 Lynn Valley Rd., North Vancouver

About Emily Jubenvill
Emily guides the efforts of the North Shore Neighbourhood House’s Edible Garden Project (EGP) staff and fundraises and nurtures the partnership that keeps the EGP well-watered and growing. She comes to this role after four years as the EGP’s Community Coordinator and many years of teaching and growing vegetables gardens.

Stretch Class with Penny Stratas
Sunday, January 18, 4 p.m. –5 p.m.
Community Room, Lynn Valley Village

About Penny Stratas
Penny worked as a fitness instructor in Ottawa for many years, and, since coming to British Columbia, on the beautiful North Shore. Penny teaches Body Sculpt, Step, Strength and Stretch classes and is a Weight Training Specialist and Personal Trainer. She is also the owner of a corporate fitness and wellness company, Preventacare Health Services Inc.

Film Night: Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story
Wednesday, January 21, 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Lynn Valley Library

“It doesn’t require a complete revolution in the way we treat food. It’s just tweaking it slightly and usually in delicious ways.”

Nutrition Workshop with Tracy Wakaluk
Friday, January 23rd 3:15 p.m. –4:15 p.m.
Community Room, Lynn Valley Village

About Tracy Wakaluk
Tracy is the Fitness Centre Supervisor at John Braithwaite Community Centre.  She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and is passionate about living and eating healthy.  She has done nutrition workshops for a variety of groups, including USA Hockey.

Tai Chi with Brad Wyatt
Tuesday January 27, 1 p.m.–2 p.m.
Community Room, Lynn Valley Village

About Brad Wyatt
Brad Wyatt has been teaching Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong healing exercises for the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture Commission, the District of West Vancouver, and many local Seniors and Care Centres since 1987.

 

Community building: A New Year’s Resolution for all?

Love ’em or hate ’em, adopt them or not, thoughts of new year’s resolutions are on most people’s minds each year when the calendar reaches its final days.

As we know, most well-intended resolutions die a quick death in the first few weeks following January 1. But surely it is still worth taking the time to look ahead at the year to come and ask yourself what you’d like to bring to it, and get from it.

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Bring some colour to our life, kids!

To celebrate the season (and our new LynnValleyLife office at 3171 Mountain Highway!) we’re offering our first-ever Christmas Colouring Contest.

We look forward to displaying all the neighbourhood entries at our office, so pop in if you’re walking by, and enjoy a treat while you peruse the growing gallery.

Art from all ages is welcome (come on, parents, sit down with your kids and enjoy a colouring break!) Prizes, however, will be offered in three age categories: Pre-Kindergarten; Kindergarten-Grade 3; and Grades 4 to 7.

Regardless of your age, you can pick whichever drawing you like from our choices below. You’ll see there’s even a scene from the Lynn Valley Christmas Tree Walk, drawn by Lynn Valley’s own Shula Klinger!

Please enter your art to our office by Monday, December 22 at 5 p.m. in order to be entered into our prize draws – the more the merrier, because for each entry we get, we will donate $1 to the North Shore Youth Safe House.  One person in each category will win a special Christmas prize – their choice of a $20 gift certificate from Black Bond Books, Creative Kidstuff Toys, or Subway sandwich shop!

Click and download your favourite picture for colouring. Please remember to write your name, grade and contact details on the back of your art before dropping it off at our office!

Lynn Valley’s Christmas Tree Walk

Santa at LV Library

An intricate candle

Candle

A simple stocking

Stocking

A manger scene

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A Lynn Valley signpost  (Jim’s favourite)

Frozen signpost blues

Make good in the ‘hood – join the LV Services Society!

Last time LynnValleyLife put out the call for board members for the LV Services Society, we’re glad to say that at least one of our readers stepped up to add their voice and vision to shaping our neighbourhood. The LVSS has asked us to spread the word again, so if you missed the boat last time, here’s your chance! Here are the details, as provided by the LVSS:

LV Services Society logoThe Lynn Valley Services Society (LVSS) is looking for additional board members.   The LVSS provides social and recreational programming to the community of Lynn Valley and beyond.  It also has a mandate for facility management in Lynn Valley.  Their primary facility is Mollie Nye House, a heritage community building managed for the District of North Vancouver.  LVSS has determined that they will expand their target group, area and range of services within the next two years.

We are looking for board members who:

  • Are enthusiastic and collaborative, with experience in the non-profit sector.
  • Have experience in Multicultural and Diversity concerns, Management, Executive, IT, Finance/Bookkeeping, HR Grant Writing, Volunteer management, Program coordination, Youth Counselling, ESL, social media or website building/maintenance.
  • Can diversify the representation on our board.  We encourage participation from minority groups who are seeking services in Lynn Valley.

Time Commitment: monthly board meeting of 2-3 hours; an additional 6 hours per month following through on action items or working with specific committees of the Board.

Position Term:  Two years

For more information or to apply, please send an email briefly summarising your interest to HRpartner@telus.net  before Friday, October 17th, 2014. Be sure to include a phone number where we can contact you during the evening and one of our current board members will be in touch.

 

Family-babysitter match-making service offered

The uncertainty about the ongoing teachers’ strike has had many Lynn Valley families chewing their nails over potential looming childcare challenges.

But we know that it’s not just during a crisis that a good babysitter can be hard to find. To that end, we asked our Facebook followers if they would like LynnValleyLife to consider providing some form of assistance in matching up families with sitters or other caregivers. And you said YES, PLEASE!!

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So we’re happy to help where we can. We obviously aren’t a child-care agency (regardless of how silly Jim and Kelly may be acting in some of our photos!) That being the case, we need you to bring your own sense of due diligence the process. But we are happy to maintain a list of people in the Lynn Valley neighbourhood offering babysitting or other childcare services.

If you are a sitter, please send us your name, year of birth, address and HOME telephone number along with any important info such as first-aid or childminding qualifications.  The list given to potential employers will NOT include your address. We ask for your home telephone number, not your cell, because it is our expectation that if you are a minor, your parents will get looped into the decision as to whether or not you accept any job offers you may receive. Please email marketing@LynnValleyLife.com.

If you are a parent looking for a sitter, we ask that you become a member of our LynnValleyLife Network so that we have your name and address on file. Then we’ll be happy to send you our list of babysitters, which will hopefully grow as word spreads.

We hope you find your perfect match!