Congrats to 2008 Voice Candidate, Maylen Crespo, for Her Continued Community Involvement

Recently Voice spoke about how we will be striving to bring New Westminster some fresh and talented school board trustees and city councilors. Candidates who are not beholden to special interest groups but whose primary focus is putting the community’s interests first and foremost. Well, one of our 2008 Voice School Trustee candidates, Maylen Crespo, was recently honoured with an award for her contributions to community life.
Thanks to The Record for announcing Maylen’s award.

Walia vs. New Westminster Final Arguments

This summer we reported on the case of local businessman, Nirmal Walia, suing the City over the 12th Street Liquor Store relocation. After three weeks in court and various witnesses, City staff and elected officials, being called the case was adjourned until October 13, 2010. Three days were reserved for lawyers to present final arguments. This means that the last of the final arguments should be happening tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted as developments take place.

Book Signing Opportunity for Book on the New Westminster Frasers Baseball Club

New Westminster’s own, and Councillor Betty McIntosh’s husband, Ken McIntosh has written a book on the New Westminster Frasers Baseball Club (1974).

He interviewed the then 22 year old general manager who is now Vice-President/Assistant General Manager of the Kansas City Royals. Twelve players were contacted and interviewed. The book details the season, where the players are now and what they are doing.

The cover was done by Vancouver artist Jennnifer Ettinger who has done the murals at Nat Bailey Stadium. The book sells for $19.95. It is the perfect gift for any New Westminster baseball or history fan.

There is an opportunity this weekend for you to pick up a copy and get it signed. Ken will be conducting a book signing at Renaissance Books, 42 Sixth Street, on Sunday July 18 from 1-3 PM and also at Village Coffee Lounge, 705-12th Street, Sunday August 1st from 1-3 PM.

Yet Another Great New Westminster Festival

I recently read that New Westminster is fast becoming the “City of Festivals.” Well we have another one to add to our repertoire.

A committee of involved residents in the West End are putting on New Westminster’s latest festival, Summerfest in Grimston Park, this Saturday, July 17th. The event will apparently be a family-friendly evening of play and live music. It kicks off at 4pm with the opening of a mini-Farmer’s Market. Along with some of the regular Farmer’s Market food options there will also be pizza from Papa Dave’s Pizza and coffee by donation from the Village Coffee Lounge.

Families will also have an opportunity to explore the newly completed playground. The evening goes late as there will be a fantastic outdoor screening of E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial. Be sure to bring your picnic blankets.

For more information check out the Tenth to the Fraser’s website.

Who was in charge? Who is telling the truth?!

It was interesting sitting in courtroom 101 last week listening to some of the testimony from our Mayor, the City Administrator, the Director of Legislative Services, the former Director of Planning and Development, and the present senior planner. The process was tedious as the lawyers built their cases brick by brick.

Former Director of Planning and Development, Tim Whitehead was anything but kind to his former employers or his former staff, but he did admit on the stand that he (and by inference the City) was responsible for some of this debacle in the first place. Then we had Rick Page, Director of Legislative Services, and the Mayor, Wayne Wright, denying any responsibility, and pointing the finger at each other for this mess. Following the Mayor and Rick Page, we listened to the master of the dodge and weave, City Administrator Paul Dominato, deferring all responsibility to others as he decreed he was either not involved or had no input.

As I listened to the testimony unfold I was struck by one thought – no one in New Westminster is in charge. The City operates in spite of those at the top. At the end of the trial, the judge in this case will have to decide who is telling the truth. But even if the City wins the case, the citizens of New Westminster have still lost.

Blair Armitage

World Cup Weekend in My Country of Birth – Neil Powell

Well, after a few weeks of less than thrilling games of 1-1, or 0-0 ties we got to the semi-final matches of the Football (Soccer) World Cup which were way more exciting. With more on the line and a sudden death elimination game at stake the teams played very different games than they tended to play in the early days of the tournament.

Now we’re down to the final weekend with the third and fourth place finish game to
be played on Saturday (Uruguay vs. Germany) and the final match to be played on Sunday between the Netherlands and Spain. Neither team has won the World Cup before so it will be exciting to see either team win.

I’ll be watching the game with a number of Dutch friends so although Elizabeth and I love Spain and our memories of our time there I’ll likely be cheering for the Dutch team. Both teams have played very good games to get them to this point though.
What are your thoughts on who might take first, second and third positions?

“Procrastination” Letter to Editor – by Gavin Palmer

Voice director, Gavin Palmer, has submitted the following letter to local media.

Our City has been offered a large financial gift of $35 million for a Multi-Use Facility from Starlight Casino. This DAC funding was negotiated by the City in 2007 and the funds must be used to pay for the complex that has to be completed by 2013. It was a big surprise for our civic officials who held an open house consultation on June 10th to find out, according to Bill Harper, chair of Arts and Culture Commission, that there is “some genuine confusion in the community about the components of the Arts Centre in the future Civic Centre.”

I have two questions for our civic officials and City council.
1) If you knew that this project must be completed by 2013 or we lose the funding and you knew the terms of the deal in 2007, why did you wait until June of 2010 to invite the people of New Westminster to an open house to find out what they would like to see in this facility?
2) Why does this City’s leaders and officials seem to only get on with improvements in the City when deadlines approach with the threat of losing grants or funding? A few examples are: the parks and trails in Queensborough that must be completed by year end; the final agreement of NWSS building plan which is holding up provincial funding for the needed construction of an elementary, middle and high school (the latter should have been built 10 years ago); the waterfront pier park (now granted a small extension); and the civic centre.

A concerned taxpayer, Gavin Palmer

Youth Centre @ Moody Park Fundraising Campaign Wants Your Help!

The Youth Centre @ Moody Park fundraising campaign is one of 20 winning entries in the Kraft Celebrations Tour contest. To win one of the $25,000 grand prizes we must receive the most online votes.

The youth centre campaign is only up against one other project in BC so we have a great chance of winning $25,000-but we need your help! Yes, it really is that easy!
Voting for youth centre entry starts Friday, July 23 rd 9:00am PST until Saturday, July 24th 8:59am PST.

To vote, visit
You only have 24hrs to vote so please save time in your calendar to vote on Friday, July 23rd beginning at 9:00am PST.

Please vote frequently and please add this to your facebook and distribute to all of your family, friends, contacts, etc (Votes from across Canada and internationally are encouraged!)

For more information on the youth centre campaign, visit
10 communities (one in each province) will be profiled on TSN’s Sportcentre broadcast. The winning entries will be announced on TSN’s Sportscentre on July 26th.

Last Chance to comment on Metro Vancouver’s Draft Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan

Metro Vancouver is consulting on a new Draft Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan to guide the management of solid waste in an affordable and environmentally responsible way.
For more information visit:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Registration: 6:30 – 7 p.m.
Public meeting: 7 p.m.
Metro Vancouver, 2nd floor Boardroom
4330 Kingsway, Burnaby

If you wish to speak at the meeting, you will be asked to register at the front desk (five minutes per speaker). Written submissions are encouraged, and will be acknowledged. Issues raised in correspondence and at the final public meeting will be addressed prior to submission of the final plan to the B.C. Minister of Environment for approval.

Please note that this is the FINAL public meeting and will be the last opportunity to comment on the Draft Plan, and that the Metro Vancouver Board and Committees will not be accepting delegations on this matter after this date.

Send your comments by July 14, 2010 to:

Lois E. Jackson, Chair, Metro Vancouver and Greg Moore, Chair, Metro Vancouver Waste Management Committee who will be chairing the meeting.

FAX: 604-432-6297
MAIL: Metro Vancouver,
Public Involvement Division,
4330 Kingsway,
Burnaby B.C.
V5H 4G8

Metro Vancouver’s Consulation Meeting with the Residents of New Westminster

As mentioned earlier, last week Metro Vancouver consulted with the community after presenting their Draft Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan. There were a number of City councillors (Harper & McEvoy), Mayor Wright, as well as a number of Voice members and directors (Gavin Palmer and Neil Powell) present. Although this forum was technically a consultation meeting it was very obvious to anyone present that Metro Vancouver was doing their best sales pitch for incinerators/WTE facilities.
After thanking Metro Vancouver for actually having a meeting in New Westminster this time around and for actually consulting with the community, unlike in 2008 when they tried to expropriate the Canfor site in the Braid Industrial area of New Westminster, Neil Powell addressed the panel. He mentioned that the move to ensure recycling be mandatory at multi-family buildings in the region is a positive move. This would be an especially impactful move for New Westminster as we become more and more dense with many new high-rise developments. Powell also expressed concern that if Metro Vancouver goes with the option of building incinerators/WTE facilities that the region would in fact be committing itself to supplying these incinerators/WTE facilities with fuel (garbage) which would mean that there would likely not be as many resources committed to recycling, composting and other zero waste initiatives.
A number of representatives of New Westminster Environmental Partners (NWEP) were also present and had their own questions and concerns. One of the NWEP members, Ms. Jane Armstrong, spoke about the successes of the Glenbrook Zero Waste Challenge. Kudos to all those participating in this challenge and who are an inspiration to the rest of the City. It is encouraging to see that we can reduce our curb-side waste by concerted efforts to recycle and compost at home. Of course, one other huge component of reducing our waste is to be thoughtful about the amount of materials we allow into our homes in the first place.
It is reported that the Sapperton neighbourhood is planning on beginning their own Zero Waste Challenge. Glenbrooke North has certainly set the bar high.