2014 Year in Review continued

News highlights from Hope and area this year

Canadian country star Aaron Pritchett performs in Hope on Sept. 5 as part of the Brigade Days concert. Local artist Roger Dalton and guitarist Jerry Doucette kicked off the show at the Sixth Avenue Sports Bowl along with Vancouver’s Me & Mae.

July

 

Staff Sgt. Bruce Anderson takes over as leader of Hope and Boston Bar RCMP, bringing 33 years of experience to the job. Former Staff Sgt. Suki Manj made his last official appearance on Canada Day before relocating to Lloydminster, Alberta with his family for a job promotion.

 

The B.C. government raises the speed limits on several local highways. The Coquihalla Highway increases to 120 km/h from Hope to Kamloops,  100 km/h on Highway 3 from Manning Park West to Allison Pass, 110 km/h on Highway 1 east of Whatcom Road to the junction with Highway 3,  100 km/h on Highway 1 east of Lake of the Woods rest area to Boston Bar, and 100 km/h on Highway 7 between Hope and Agassiz.

 

Repair crews are at the site of a minor train derailment north of Hope in the Fraser Canyon, after four empty freight cars left the track in Dogwood Valley. Witnesses said the incident caused substantial damage to the track, as well as the main road out of the community. Rail ties were torn up and the control arm at Park Lane Drive was taken out.

 

The new Raymond Pavilion officially opens in Boston Bar. The building was dedicated in honour of Betty and Frank Raymond for their years of community service.

 

The Hope & District Chamber of Commerce partners with AdvantageHOPE on a kiosk improvement project at the Hunter Creek rest area. The kiosk will receive much needed improvements, including repairs, refreshed signage, and ongoing maintenance. AdvantageHOPE will focus on the design, development and management of the project, while the Chamber provides up front funding to upgrade the kiosk. The investment will be recouped through advertising sales, which will be handled by AdvantageHOPE.

 

Paving crews from Martens Asphalt are in Hope patching 1,900 square metres of cracked pavement on Third Avenue, between Wallace and Commission streets; Wallace Street, between Water and Sixth avenues; and Kawkawa Lake Road near Lakeview Crescent.

 

Spuzzum First Nation launches a petition to save Alexandra Bridge in the Fraser Canyon. The petition supports the preservation of the bridge in traditional First Nations territory as a national historic landmark and icon of Canadian transportation history. The goal is to see a long-term plan developed to preserve, restore and enhance the structure.

 

 

August

 

A former Hope mayor plans to run again in November for the community’s top job. Wilfried Vicktor declares his candidacy, citing greater transparency, better communication with the public, and more council control over district expenditures and spending priorities as pressing issues.

 

Erosion breaks the continuous connection between the five Othello Tunnels in Coquihalla Canyon Park. The province is asking visitors to obey safety measures put in place after the bridge connecting tunnels two and three received structural damage to its foundation. This bridge will remain closed for the rest of the season while repairs are being made.

 

Metro Roofing crews are busy throughout August installing sheet metal on the roof of Coquihalla Elementary School. The major roofing project was undertaken by the Fraser-Cascade school district in response to several leaking issues over the last few years. Over the summer, there’s also been main driveway paving, new siding on the school gym, and portables added to accommodate students from the closure of C.E. Barry.

 

The Hope Transfer Station is now officially open under the operation of First Class Waste Services. Residents will also no longer be required to bag their green waste in favour of a plastic container. Green Waste decals to identify these containers are available for free at district hall.

 

Anglers flocking to the banks of the Fraser River are being warned not to park along highway shoulders after police receives several complaints.  Staff Sgt. Bruce Anderson said officers will issue tickets or have vehicles towed if they’re not abiding by the rules and regulations.

 

The District of Hope is looking into the feasibility of taking over control and operation of the Station House. AdvantageHOPE wants the district to assert ownership over the building and enter into a new agreement with the province to occupy the property. The district would provide a $100,000 initial contribution, which would be offset by the relocation of the Hope Visitor Centre and Museum Complex to the Station House.

 

Hope RCMP are searching for an Abbotsford man who was last seen near a local camping area. Tim Rutherford, 46, was last seen by a camp ranger when he was parked at the Jones Lake pull-out near Highway 1 exit 153. He had been camping in the area, but none of his friends or family had heard from him since.

 

 

September

 

Teachers are once again behind picket lines at the beginning of the school year after there was no progress over the summer in contract talks between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the provincial government. Parents are warned by district administration to plan for a lengthy shutdown of schools. However, students return to class by the end of the month after teachers accept a six-year agreement negotiated with the help of mediator Vince Ready.

 

Kevin Bird looks forward to helping improve student learning in his new role as assistant superintendent of schools. He brings many years of experience to the Fraser-Cascade school district, having worked in both metro and small rural communities as a classroom teacher, vice-principal and principal.

 

Hell’s Gate Airtram is now under new ownership. Coquitlam businessman Junping Yang purchased the attraction from local shareholders at the beginning of September. The business will continue to operate as normal with all management and staff remaining on.

 

Sixty-one people participated in the annual Terry Fox run/walk at Hope Airpark on Sunday, nearly doubling attendance from last year. The local event raised $2,235 for the Terry Fox Foundation, up from $1,663.50 in 2013.

 

Hope receives a Five Bloom award in the 2014 provincial Communities in Bloom competition, and Victor Smith and Bob Burrell are recognized with a special provincial Community Champion award. The local delegates also honoured Laurie and Elaine French for their volunteer contributions over the past seven years. Hope managed to boost its score in several areas from the previous year and received special mention for it’s volunteerism.

 

Area B director Dennis Adamson and Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness pull a toilet paper ribbon to officially open the new public washroom facilities in Yale. Yale and District Historical Society worked with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Fraser Valley Regional District and Emil Anderson Maintenance on the community enhancement project over the summer. The highway pullout not only has new washrooms and fencing, but will have a picnic area and historical interpretive signage.

Nestlé Waters has a record turnout at its community open house. About 800 people visited the plant in Hope throughout the afternoon and enjoyed a guided tour of the bottling facility, free barbecue, face painting, caricature artist and balloon twisting artists. Guests also had an opportunity to learn more about the current groundwater and surface water monitoring program.

 

 

October

 

The community is one step closer to having a new location for its tourist information centre. Hope Station House Community Arts & Heritage Society held a special meeting to discuss the building’s future. Fourteen of the 17 members in attendance signed a letter of intent, including one signature delivered by proxy, to bring forward and support a resolution to turn over control and operation of the Station House building to the district of Hope no later than Jan. 5, 2015.

 

Janelle Ceclia Lawlor, a 20-year-old from Hope,  is killed in a crash in Oregon. A fundraising page was set up to help cover the cost of having Lawlor’s body transported back to B.C.

 

Precision Concrete Cutting crews are working in Hope to remove the 0.5-1.5 inch lip on about 25 sidewalk/wheelchair letdowns.

Money raised from banner sales during Rick Hansen’s 2012 visit funded the project. Sidewalk trip hazards are also being addressed, which is being financed through the district’s annual maintenance budget.

 

The Husky gas station, food store and restaurant on Flood-Hope Road are permanently closed, after being a fixture in Hope for decades. Husky is planning to upgrade the site infrastructure and reopen the fuel kiosks in early 2015, for both commercial card lock users and other customers.

 

A new website has been launched to provide residents with an information database on municipal affairs. HopeWatchDog.com aims to serve as a community-developed electronic town hall meeting place that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Website developer Richard Madison said HopeWatchDog.com will inform residents of government processes and how to utilize or change them. It will also have an interactive bulletin board for residents to make comments and discuss local issues, and a database of problems and how they were solved by others. Another objective of the website is to audit the district, which includes council and civil servants. Madison said up to $10,000 will be offered to whistleblowers and up to $4,000 for the best bylaw violations reported.

 

The new Sacred Space at Fraser Canyon Hospital officially opens. The room offers patients, clients, staff, residents and their families a space to attend to their spiritual needs. It is also equipped with special ventilation for those who peace Aboriginal smudging or cleansing ceremonies. The new Sacred Space is the first within the Fraser Health Authority and is open to people of all backgrounds and faiths.

 

The District of Hope and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project enter into a memorandum of understanding for a community benefit agreement that will see a $500,000 contribution towards improvements to a community park.

 

 

November

 

Over 50 tow trucks from 15 different companies in B.C. and Alberta participate in a funeral procession through downtown Hope for Bruce Hardy. Hardy, who was featured on the first two seasons of Highway Thru Hell, was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and his health quickly deteriorated. He lost his battle with the disease in early October. In addition to the procession, there was a flyover featuring two planes.

 

The provincial government has named Hope Crime Prevention Society as one of this year’s winners of a Ministry of Justice Community Safety and Crime Prevention Award.

 

Wilfried Vicktor is once again taking over Hope’s top job, after earning 913 votes from residents in the municipal election. At the council table, Bob Erickson, Dusty Smith and Heather Stewin will join incumbents Gerry Dyble, Donna Kropp and Scott Medlock.

 

Two local newcomers will be joining the Fraser-Cascade Board of Education following the municipal election. John Koopman received the most votes in the Hope electoral area with 874, while Heather Stewin garnered 856. Current board chair Linda McMullan was also returned as a trustee with 735 votes. In the Canyon electoral area, Tom Hendrickson was voted in by acclamation.

 

Terry Raymond will serve as the new Area A director in the Fraser Valley Regional District after defeating incumbent Lloyd Forman in the civic election. Raymond earned 97 votes, while his challengers Forman and James Fougere received 85 and 13 votes respectively. Yale’s Dennis Adamson was acclaimed in Area B.

 

The Cascade Lower Canyon Community Forest (CLCCF) board of directors is fired pending an operational review of the corporation. The partners – District of Hope, Fraser Valley Regional District and Yale First Nation – issued a termination letter to the board, stating concern of the legalities of the grant processes and procedures currently employed. To facilitate the review process, all current directors have been removed and an interim board appointed.

 

The Rotary Club hosts its first Martini Mingle at 293 Wallace Street Restaurant. The evening raised about $150 for the club and Nadine Turner’s Italian winter dream martini was the winner.

 

 

December

 

Boothroyd First Nation in Boston Bar is grieving the loss of their fire hall. The building was completely destroyed in a structure fire, along with their fire truck and equipment.

The blaze was discovered by a member of the community who saw smoke billowing from the roof of the fire hall. An attempt to remove the fire truck from inside was thwarted by the heavy smoke. When police arrived on scene, the roof was fully engulfed in flames. Fire officials on scene attributed the cause of the fire to electrical wiring in the rafters of the building. There was no one injured in the blaze, but the total estimated damage is about $300,000.

 

A 48-year-old Hope man is arrested in connection to thefts from parked vehicles. Hope RCMP received a complaint of a man allegedly breaking windows in the 900 block of Water Ave. Upon arrival, officers saw the man but he quickly faded from view. Police secured a perimeter and successfully contained the area with assistance from Fraser Valley Traffic Services. A search of the area led to the man being found hiding under a vehicle. He was arrested for theft under $5,000 and mischief under $5,000. The man was later released from police custody with a court date in February 2015.

 

Emergency personnel are called to Laidlaw after suspicious barrels are discovered at the east end of Hunter Creek Road. When Hope Fire Department and Hope RCMP arrived on scene, they found 12 – 45 gallon drums, as well as two kegs, lying on the roadway. A small amount of liquid seeping from one of the containers appeared to be corrosive, so police called in a hazardous waste contractor.

 

Highway 1 eastbound, between Hunter Creek and exit 165 in Hope, is shut down for hours when rocks, mud and water spill onto the roadway. The large volume of water running down the mountain is attributed to heavy rainfall. Luckily no vehicles were caught in the slide. Traffic was diverted along Highway 9 through Agassiz and onto Highway 7 towards Hope.

 

Stuff the Cruiser in Hope raises 750 kilograms (1,653.47 pounds) of food as well as $380.80 in cash donations and $30.64 in gift cards for the food bank. RCMP members in Boston Bar collected 435 kilograms (959 pounds) of food and $1,914.05 in cash.

 

Art Green of Hope is acclaimed as Green Party of Canada candidate for the new federal riding of Mission/Matsqui/Fraser Canyon. In addition to a climate action plan, Green’s main objectives in the upcoming election will be electoral reform and a national mental health strategy.

 

Fran Morrison receives the Honourary Paul Harris Fellowship at the Hope Rotary Club Christmas party. The award is the highest honour a club can bestow upon a member or non-member for service to Rotary. Morrison, whose late husband was a member of the Rotary Club, has maintained an ongoing supportive relationship with the club by supporting its efforts including hosting a summer picnic at her Kawkawa Lake front property.