Richmond Beat

Looking for possible Richmond Sports Wall of Fame nominees: nomination committee requested to be started up

Posted on November 20, 2014

Richmond has yet to committ to a physical location for a Sports Wall of Fame, but discusions are ongoing in terms of selecting who would be nominated to be inducted.

A report to the Richmond General Purpose Committee on the Richmond Sports Wall of Fame seeks an endorsement of a policy to guide the process of selecting nominees and requests a nominating committee be started up.

The Richmond Olympic Oval may possibly be the location of a Sports Wall of Fame. (Flickr)

The Richmond Olympic Oval may possibly be the location of a Sports Wall of Fame. (Flickr)

Richmond’s General Purpose Committee endorsed the idea of a Richmond Sports Wall of Fame back in Oct. 2012. The Sports Wall of Fame is meant to celebrate the history of sports in Richmond and to provide a place for the community to recognize the achievements of past athletes, teams, and builders of sport in Richmond. Its location as of now is to be at the Richmond Olympic Oval. The expected completion date for the project is summer 2015. The cost of it all has not yet been specified.

“At the moment, we don’t have a physical location to honour Richmond’s sporting history,” said Serena Lusk, the senior manager of Recreation and Sports Services. “So this will be an opportunity to have a place where people can go and see the multitude of sports successes in terms of people and achievements from the city that people can go physically visit.”

The report still has to go to city council on Oct. 14 now that it has been passed unopposed by the committee.

PS: This was originally pitched in October 2014.

“Don’t blame the Chinese” says mall manager on Chinese signs issue

Posted on November 20, 2014

According to one mall manager, it’s not just Chinese business owners who have decided to advertise only in their own language. Koreans, Japanese and Punjabi business owners appear to do the same.

Chinese-only signs are an ongoing issue in Richmond. (Vancouver Sun)

Chinese-only signs are an ongoing issue in Richmond. (Vancouver Sun)

With the issue of Chinese-only signs appearing in the news again and again, just how inclusive or exclusive can they be? How does the issue apply to businesses and other cultures? One mall manager shares his thoughts saying there are no benefits for businesses unless their target are Chinese-speaking customers.

The controversial Chinese language-only sign is an issue that has reappeared several times in the past few months, and is now a “hot issue” for the upcoming election in November.

Allan Ho, the mall manager for the Yaohan Centre, said there were “no benefits in Chinese-only signs” and that he thought it was a “little bit short-sighted”. He said that having English and Chinese on signs is good for businesses, unless the target is specifically aimed at Chinese-speaking customers.

Ho doesn’t support the Chinese-only signs, and adds by having signs with both English and Chinese, it’s a way not to reject English-speaking customers. He makes a point to add that it’s not only the Chinese—he mentions the Korean-, Japanese- and Punjabi-only signs he has seen in other cities and neighbourhoods. “Don’t blame the Chinese,” he said.

PS: This was originally pitched in October 2014.

Vancouver Block Watch celebrates 25 years of protecting neighbourhoods

Posted on November 20, 2014

The Vancouver Block Watch celebrated 25 years by presenting to the Vancouver Police Board the benefits of the program, its results and its goals for the next five years.

The Vancouver Block Watch is a VPD community-based crime prevention program run by one police officer and one civilian coordinator. It is a “boots on the ground” network designed to build police/citizen relationships and to help neighbourhoods protect their communities. As Const. Dave Krenz said, “property crime suspects can hide from the police… but it is difficult for them to hide from residents and home owners that are Block Watch-trained.”

The Block Watch’s goal is to help make Vancouver Canada’s safest major city by training citizens how to look out and report suspicious criminal activity. A part of that goal is to reduce property crime by five per cent per year and 25 per sent over the next five years.

“One of the key benefits is for people to take some responsibility for safety in their own community,” said Elaine Barbour, vice-president of the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre Board of Directors and captain of her block watch. “I think that is very important and that is something that Block Watch trains us to be.”

A screeen shot of map of Richmond detailing reports of crime from Oct. 15, 2013 to Oct. 15, 2014.

A screeen shot of map of Richmond detailing reports of crime from Oct. 15, 2013 to Oct. 15, 2014.

According to the crime map from the city’s website, from Oct. 15 2013 to Oct. 15, 2014, Richmond has had a total of 1248 reported cases of property crimes. 828 residential break and enters, 256 commercial break and enters, and 164 theft of auto crimes. There were 146 reported cases in the past month alone.

The Richmond Block Watch was unavailable for an interview.

PS: This was originally pitched in October 2014.

Bilingual signs a controversial issue?

Posted on October 27, 2014

As reported earlier this month by The Province, the controversial issue of Chinese-only signs has lead to a possible bylaw, if passed, will require English on all signs. However, lawyers told Richmond city council that such a bylaw “infringes on the freedom of expression and would be subject to challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedom.”

For the interactive graph, the data was taken from a report put towards city council. The report found that of the 874 sign permits issued by the city from 2012 to September 2014, 80.7 per cent were English-only signs, 15.9 per cent were mixed-language, and 3.5 per cent were Chinese-only.

A screen shot of the interactive graph I made about sign permits in Richmond.

A screen shot of the interactive graph I made about sign permits in Richmond.

The report also found that in a visual survey of the 1,200 businesses along No. 3 Road from city hall to Cambie Road, Chinese-only sings were “less than one per cent.” There were some signs noted for not having a valid permit and were not added in the reported statistics.

But let this reporter leave you with some things to think about:

Looking at the above statistics, Chinese-only signs are not in as large an amount of quantity as the English language in signs. Also, the majority of those signs are found along No. 3 Road, the heart of the city.

Taking this into consideration, think about the other languages our city also speaks: Japanese, Korean, Punjab, Tagalog, French, Spanish. Yes, most business may be in just Chinese, but there are some that are Korean, Japanese or Punjab only, to name some examples.

Should such a bylaw apply only to the Chinese language, or should it apply to all languages? Should there be such a bylaw at all?

New park allows for children to get away from e-media

Posted on October 2, 2014

Research has shown that children spend more time on digital devices than watching television. In response to that, the City of Richmond developed a new park to help them reconnect with nature.

“On average now, children and youths are spending 53 hours per week in ‘e-media’,” said Mark Holder, an associate professor at the UBC Okanagan campus. “The good news is children are watching less TV. The bad news is they’re more than making it up in being connected to other electronic platforms.”

The Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment, developed from children’s input, has a tandem zipline, three-metre high ‘big’ swings, a ‘pivot’ swing, a 10-metre tall treehouse, and a rolling hill. The idea is to help them return to being around nature.

“It’s a way to get away from the common perspective of children being inactive, sitting in front of a computer or other screens for their leisure time, and get them back out into nature, where they can experience nature in a fun way,” said Ted Townsend, senior manager of the city’s corporate communications department.

The city invested $1 million in this new play area, which was built on former farm fields, is located in the Terra Nova Rural Park. The closest school is Spul’u’kwuks Elementary.

Holder also said, “In general, three things that contribute to happiness are social engagement – being with other kids, being with friends, being in nature – being outside, going for a nature walk, and exercise … Being in the park allows you to do all three.”


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