We talked to outgoing mayor Jack Froese to hear about what has changed in Langley since he started on council, and what's next for the future
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Thursday, May 12, 2022
Good Morning Reader!
Today, I have sparkly teeth. At least, that’s what my toddler calls it. When she went to the dentist for the first time not so many months ago, she was thrilled to sit in the big girl chair, wear the cool glasses, and have all the attention on her teeth. And when it was time for a little polish, the dental hygienist told her she had β€œsparkly teeth.” The term stuck. But I must say, some of the thrill wears off as an adult when the dentist pokes around with a sharp and judgmental tool, checking to see if your gums really are receding. β€”Grace Kennedy, reporter

Today’s weather: 🌧 15 C
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Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese (right) is a retired Vancouver police officer and a big supporter of Cops for Cancer. 📸 Rudy Storteboom/Facebook
Langley’s biggest hurdle, according to the outgoing mayor

Langley Township might be the Fraser Valley’s second-largest municipality, but maintaining Langley’s small-town charm will be the greatest challenge for the city’s new council come October, departing mayor Jack Froese says.

Froese believes Langley’s biggest hurdle will be managing new growth.

β€œWe are growing, but we still want to respect our rural feel,” Froese said. β€œAnd I think that’s the future, I think it’s really going to be a challenge for new councils to do that proper planning, keep the housing where housing should be, and maintain the rural areas.”

The Township’s population grew by nearly 30,000 over the last decade. Froese oversaw much of that change. But come this fall, the metaphorical chain of office will be passed along. During a recent council meeting, Froese announced that, after serving three terms as mayor for the Township of Langley, he won’t be seeking re-election in October.

Joti spoke with the outgoing mayor about his time in office, the challenges Langley will face in the future, his proudest moment, and about a decade-old quarrel that almost saw the Township switch to the Fraser Valley Regional District.

Missed yesterday’s story? Find it here: Deaths exceeded births in BC for the first time on record
Need to Know
⚠ A Mission middle school will be closed today and tomorrow because of a shortage of staff [Mission Public Schools]

👉 A missing Abbotsford teen may be with an American man three times her age
[Vancouver Sun]

💔 A man died after a dump truck and tow truck collided on Highway 7 near Seabird Island Tuesday [Agassiz Harrison Observer]

βš– Three Chilliwack pastors will not need to pay $55K in fines for violating COVID rules [Chilliwack Progress]

🚓 Arnold De Jong, 77, and Joanne De Jong, 76, have been identified as the victims of a recent Abbotsford homicide; police are asking for help to construct a timeline of the hours leading up to their deaths [Global]

👩β€βš–οΈ A man who was hit by a taxi in a Langley hotel parking lot was awarded $206,000 in damages [North Shore News]

☺ TODAY’S SMILE: Baby bats babble just like human babiesβ€”and they are one of only a few animals to do so [Nature]

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Twenty-eight kids in one home-based daycare? That’s too many, Abbotsford council has ruled. β€’ 📸 PhotoMavenStock/Shutterstock
The Agenda
Abbotsford may soon allow larger home-based daycares in residential areas, but 28 kids in one home is still too many. That was the verdict of Abbotsford staff and council after a local daycare operator applied for permission to care for more children in their home. Currently, Abbotsford has an eight-child cap on daycares in residential areas. The operators of Ridgeview Daycare, which currently hosts seven children in the basement of a home on Ridgeview Drive, had initially sought permission to have up to 40 kids in the home. They lowered their request after discussions with staff to 28. Meanwhile, the city has re-examined its rules and plans to raise the limit on kidsβ€”but only to 16. Any more children in residential home could have β€œneighbourhood impacts,” staff wrote. Council voted Monday to deny Ridgeviews's application, though Couns. Patricia Ross and Les Barkman voted to move it forward to a public hearing; Ross said she would have liked to hear more about the rationale, given the support from the local community. The city is also considering allowing up to 25 kids in daycares located in an apartment or townhouse complex’s common space. That can allow for more much-needed daycare spaces, staff said, while using potentially under-used common areas during daytime hours.

Fraser Valley farmers now have until June 30 to enrol in the federal-provincial AgriStability program, a funding program that helps farmers manage declines in their farm income. Participation among BC farmers increased last year, likely due to the wildfires and flooding experienced across the province. Approximately 2,270 farmers were enrolled last year, and those same farmers can decide if they want to participate in the program again this year. The goal is to help buffer large financial declines caused by production losses due to things like disaster, disease, increasing costs, and declining market conditions.
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Around Town
💎 The BC Gem Show is coming to Chilliwack Heritage Park this Friday through Sunday with demonstrations, crafts, and grab bags. Details online.

🏅 The Fort Langley Farmers Market is happening this Saturday at St. Andrew's Historic Chapel from 9am to 3pm. Details online.

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