What’s the plan?
What’s the plan?
So, what is the sneaky plan for the property of Aldergrove Elementary? Anyone out there know?
Seems strange to me that on a day during the holidays the school board has chosen to demolish the playground. The first unethical move is that it is being scrapped — most of it is new equipment. Scrapped? Now the children at the daycare temporarily located at the school have no place to play. The local children have been relieved of a great asset.
Now, how about the property value of homeowners? If we had been let in on what should be public knowledge we might have had a chance to sell our properties at a fair value or chosen to stay. The simple word “choice” has been neglected. I live in Aldergrove. I pay Langley taxes yet I don’t have any infrastructure. We have been hung out to dry once again.
I chose to live in an area within walking distance to schools for my kids. OK, school closures are sure to happen. But now I face the possibility of my high school-aged son having to be bused for classes he might want that would be shared between schools. If I wanted the added stress of worrying about my kid on the road in a bus I wouldn’t have chosen to live within walking distance of the high school. I would have lived in very rural B.C. and had far lower taxes on my house.
It is my understanding that the playground equipment in question was raised by private donation as well as hard work by the Parents’ Advisory Council of Aldergrove Elementary. Now, about two or three years later it is disposable garbage. I find the whole treatment from the school board dispicable.
Alice Swenson, Aldergrove
I get so tired of it. Is there nothing positive that can be written about the various activities at the Greater Vancouver Zoo? It seems that, no matter what happens there, the daily papers take on the mantra of those who would shut down all zoos altogether, deeming them somehow evil incarnate.
Here we go again: a dear little giraffe is born weak, struggling to survive, having a bad time. He’s getting all the medical care, hand-feeding and personal love and attention that could possibly be available to him, in order to help him to survive.
What do we hear? “Zoo has a history of Controversy,” etc. Then out come the critics. Debra Probert of the Vancouver Humane Society is quoted as saying that “the only reason she can think of (that animals are allowed to be born in captivity) is that baby animals are a ‘money-maker’.” Well, Ms. Probert, what the heck is wrong with that? Without a money-maker, zoos in general might have difficulty surviving, as funding from public purses seem to be scarce. By the way, are you somehow able to get along without money? It seems to me that it comes in handy for paying bills.
In our case here in Aldergrove, it also employs a good number of caring folks taking care of the animals at our zoo. This zoo is, we feel, a fine example of animal care. You may cite the stories all you like; Hazina, Tina, etc. Millions have been spent on their care, but that is not what you want people to hear, is it? They are all stories of real animals that received real care from real people who really have an investment in their well-being.
The public got involved and followed these stories avidly, because the stories did matter. It shocked me again and again how one-sided these stories were.
What is important to remember is that these stories were about animals and like any animals, they will and do suffer occasionally from deformities, illnesses and, yes, even death, as do we. Fortunately, there are wonderful, caring staff there to take care of them.
Not as much can be said of the thousands of drug-addicted, homeless people on our streets. No hue and cry from you about them, eh? Not important enough? No big, sad brown eyes to generate donations?
Then we have Rob Laidlaw, Executive Director of Zoocheck Canada. Wonder what he does for a fast money-maker?
Zoos provide a very important link and opportunity for many people to learn about animals first-hand, in settings that are wonderfully developed to create as natural as possible an environment for them, with good care, feeding, veterinary services etc. that are the envy of many countries. Most people in this world don’t get treatment that good and you know it.
Here in Aldergrove, we’re pretty proud of our zoo and the staff that take care of it. Are they perfect? No. Am I? No. Are you?
Wayne Boylan, Aldergrove
Out of touch
Enough is Enough is Enough! I attended the Towwnship Council meeting to see firsthand what the Mayor would do with the now infamous Water Management Plan, the plan that many of us have been railing against since its introduction around the first of November. Well I guess they have heard – to a point! However, to the residents of the Township, don’t let down your guard, the fight is not over.
When this draft was introduced it clearly set out the principles and process to be followed which included only two Open Houses within a two-month period as they had a time frame set of Dec. 31, 2007, before dealing with public input and moving onto the implementation phase.
I observed Councillor Richter trying to slow down the process and seek more public input, only to have her motion defeated. At least Councillor Richter had the wherewithal and intuition to know how the community would react.
At a recent Council meeting I observed the Mayor deny the issue of a proposed deadline for this Water Management Plan and trying to backpedal faster than humanly possible. This is another example of the mayor trying to rewrite history, as I recall, similar to what he tried to do on the full-time fire fighter issue. Well, Mayor Alberts should read the Draft Plan again — if he read it in the first place? On page 2 it states on July 14, 2006 a Ministerial Order was signed by Environment Minister Barry Penner which defines and sets out the terms of reference, specifies the reasons, issues and purposes for the plan and establishes a completion deadline. I am sure the residents of the Township would like to be made aware of exactly what that deadline and timeline is for implementation?
Remember this is a Ministerial Order specifically relating to the Township and its Water Management Plan. For the benefit of the residents this plan has been in the works since November of 2004, which says in its own words, “The B.C. Ministries of Environment and Agriculture and Lands and the Township of Langley are collaborating to develop a Water Management Plan to address the pressing groundwater issues in the Township.”
It is unfortunate that the Mayor does not have a feel for the community nor the respect for its residents by supporting this wrong-headed process. There are other options and there is also public consultation which has been sadly lacking on an issue that is one of the most fundamental that the Township will ever have to deal with.
Rick Green, Aldergrove
Farmers cash cows
Our elected municipal representatives seem set on styling themselves on the old Soviet system by turning our frozen ALR farmlands into ‘Soviet Kolkhozes’ (collective farms) — imposing rules and regulations on the water we use with dollar signs in their eyes.
Many of us live on small gravel-based acreages, where the term “farm” is insulting to one’s intelligence.
But farmers we will stay, say the powers of the day.
As a municipal taxpayer I would ask the muncipality to publish the amount of water it is pumping daily from the Hopington aquifer to supply Aldergrove and Gloucester and other usages, and for how many years it has been doing so.
I understand the cost of using the Hopington aquifer’s water supply is approximately one tenth of what it would cost to purchase the same from the GVRD.
We may well be farmers but we are not cash cows.
Sam and Pam Omelaniec,
Cool clear water
I was reading the paper of Dec. 20, regarding meters on wells. Our well water isn’t very good quality, used only for washing the car and dishes, and all the fixtures have extreme stains.
We have being buying bottled water for 20 years. Does the municipality plan on paying to supply us with quality water?
James R. Godard, Langley