Wendy Turner was driving home when she was caught in one of the largest landslides of the 2021 atmospheric river
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Fraser Valley Current

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 | Today: 🌧 High 8C, Low 5C | 7-day forecast

Good morning, Reader

Last week, we asked you for your best friend-making suggestions. We received a ton of amazing responses, and tomorrow we’ll have a story with your advice. For me, the question instantly brought sports to mind. Nearly all my non-work friends in adulthood have been made through sports teams. Those teams have introduced me to a whole range of people I would not have otherwise met. 

On my men’s soccer team, we have players from all backgrounds and walks of lives. We have immigrants, guys who work in trades, students, and even a grave-digger. Through an affiliated co-ed team, I’ve met even more interesting people. 

A sport is a unifier that can link people who wouldn’t otherwise cross paths. It provides a common language and a common topic of conversation. It’s also relatively easy to find a team. You can find one through personal connections, but you can also just ask the organizaers of any local rec league for those looking for players. It can also be much less formal than that. One day we noticed a kid kicking a ball around at the local field where we practice. We asked if he wanted to practice with us. The next thing you know, he’s on our team and has earned his own nickname: “Pete From The Street.”

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Fraser Valley Current

Build the way you want


‘Lord save us!’: How a landslide changed Wanda Turner

Raised near the confluence of the Thompson rivers in Kamloops, Wanda Turner grew up outdoors—hiking, biking and skiing. Her own sizable nuclear family—she’s the eldest of four children—melded with a huge extended family that kept her youth filled with love and security.

“They may have lived out of town but boy, there was always somebody visiting,” says Wanda. “I look back and I think I had the best childhood in the universe.”

For 25 years, she worked as a registered nurse in cities across British Columbia and Alberta. Wanda then spent another 15 years as a homemaker, raising her two sons and taking them on road trips through the Rockies. She is a woman of faith—“a wonderfully and fearfully made creation of God”—and attends church regularly.

She now lives in a senior-oriented condo in Chilliwack and acts as the strata’s president. At the time the atmospheric rivers hit southern British Columbia, Wanda was returning home with a neighbour from a long-weekend trip to Kelowna.

She was almost home when a landslide hit her car.

This is the latest eyewitness narrative published about last year's extreme weather devastation in partnership with the Climate Disaster Project. We will have the final two accounts next week. Find all the narratives here.

Need to know

🔥 Two years after a Langley condo fire, the building is still uninhabitable [Global]

⛳ Abbotsford golfers Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin will kick off (or putt off?) the PGA season this week [Fraser Valley News Network]

🚒 A fire severely damaged an Aldergrove home that was under construction but nearing completion [Langley Advnace Times]

📺 Abbotsford police released video of a truck believed to be involved in the hit-and-run that killed Marc Ellis in December; the truck has been found but the company that owns it is not co-operating [Global]

👎 Someone used a BB gun to shoot the windows at SinAmen Bun Co. in Chilliwack [Chilliwack Progress]

👉 ‘If it’s not your thing, you don’t have to go,’ Mission’s mayor wrote about drag performances after protesters attempted to derail a drag event in Coquitlam [Paul Horn/Twitter]

🍔 The Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival will be at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University campus in Langley this spring [GVFTF/Facebook]

🏍 Off-road groups are worried the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project will reduce motorized trail access [Chilliwack Progress]

👉 A house fire on Chawathil First Nation on Sunday demonstrated improved communication between the band and the municipality [Hope Standard]

🏫 Librarians and special-needs teachers are teaching classes in Chilliwack amid a shortage of teachers [CBC]

😀 DAILY SMILE: ‘That was a bad idea’; 15 years ago, Canada’s greatest local news  report took place from the bottom of a massive snow tubing hill [Goodable/Twitter]

✍️ Learn how to apply to UFV, including entrance requirements. Thirty-minute information sessions are available on Jan. 25, Feb. 8, and Feb. 22 from 3:30 to 4pm. Register now.*

*Sponsored Listing

The Agenda

The Township of Langley is auctioning off the old location of lelem’ café. 📷 lelem’ café

Township looks to auction off Fort Langley café site

The Langley Township no longer wants to be the landlord of a Fort Langley property that once housed a popular café.
The Township has put the former lelem’ Arts and Cultural Café property up for auction. The local business closed in April 2021 during the pandemic. Since then, the township-owned unit on 23285 Billy Brown Rd has sat vacant. 
In December, council voted to sell the property. Coun. Kim Richter questioned why the township couldn’t find a new tenant. Staff said the money generated by the sale could be used to fund other council priorities, like soccer fields and ice sheets. They also said the property had generated revenue for the Township Mayor Eric Woodward said that the township land reserve is in deficit.

The property is currently zoned for general commercial use. The future owner could use the space for a coffee shop, restaurant, or office, staff explained. The township did not respond by deadline to The Current's request for information about the starting bid. According to a local realtor who posted about the sale, the minimum sale price is $1.8 million. 
Details about the sale can be found here. Bidding closes on Feb. 10. 

‘Parental rights’ on Abbotsford school trustees’ to-do list
Abbotsford School District staff have tweaked a policy guiding how parents can participate in their child’s education. The changes, which board trustees will review at their meeting today, come at the request of the district’s new trustees. The policy has been renamed, from ‘Parental Responsibilities’ to ‘Parental Rights and Responsibilities.’

Just one subsection has been changed. Where previously the policy stated that parents and guardians have the right to “be informed of all matters relating to educational programming,” the policy now adds “inclusive of instructional activities and presentations.” You can see the old and new policies here.

Other items on trustees’s agenda include updates on bus driver recruitmentthe board’s budget, the strategic plan for secondary schools. There will also be a presentation from a parent urging the district to provide better and more reliable bussing. You can view the entire agenda here by clicking on the appropriate date in the calendar. The district meets at 7pm and streams its meetings on YouTube here.

Chilliwack’s school board also meets today.  You can find that agenda here. The meeting starts at 5:30pm and will be streamed here

Thousands of trees planted in Chilliwack

More than 13,000 trees have been planted along creek banks in Chilliwack to improve habitats for salmon, turtles, and river otters.

Once mature, the trees will provide shade, keep riverbanks from collapsing, and protect fish from airborne predators. Most of the trees were planted along the Chilliwack Creek. Others took root at Bell Slough, Nevin Creek, and Dunville Creek. Other restoration efforts in these areas included stumps and logs donated to add natural complexity to the environment.  

The City of Chilliwack and Coast Mountain Trail Running (an events company that organizes trail runs) each put almost $7,000 towards the project.

Around town


🍝 Learn how to make fresh pasta with Chef Craig at Creekside Cheese + Creamery in Agassiz on Jan. 21. The cost of the evening workshop will include ingredients. Details online.


🍅 Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life, a theatrical performance, will be taking place at Chilliwack's Bozzini’s Restaurant on Jan. 24 and 25. Tickets online. Proceeds will benefit the BC Cancer Foundation. 

Have an event to tell us about? Fill out this form to have it highlighted in Around Town.

A ‘zombie’ well? 

From last week: Health officials say a Fort Langley well could prove vital in an emergency. But the Township’s new council wants it gone. Catch up here.

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