Cloverdale's top stories of 2011 - part 2

A few of our favourite faces of 2011 in Cloverdale. -
A few of our favourite faces of 2011 in Cloverdale.
— image credit:


Party on, Cloverdale

Canada’s number-one party band, Trooper, headlines Surrey’s Canada Day bash. The annual celebration is western Canada’s largest July 1 party, drawing an estimated 10,000 to Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre.

Let’s talk transit

City councillor Marvin Hunt urges individuals and businesses to lobby – hard – to prevent Surrey’s pending rapid transit expansion from bypassing Cloverdale.

TransLink is studying rapid transit expansion options through Surrey – whether it’s SkyTrain, light rail, or express buses.

Hunt’s not impressed with Taranslink’s latest set of routes, which include scenarios for lines running down Fraser Highway from Surrey City Centre to downtown Langley – an option he believes will serve Langley at the expense of Cloverdale.

He’s pressing for any Fraser Highway line to bend down to 64 Avenue, possibly at 168 or 176 Street. From there the line would be in position to connect with the Cloverdale Fairgrounds – and future streetcar and heritage rail restoration plans in the historic town centre.

“For the life of me, I don’t know why we would want to build Langley City [and not Cloverdale],” he told members of the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association. “I think Cloverdale has a whole lot more to offer.”

He suggests BIA members provide feedback on Translink’s website and attend any future public meetings on the subject.


Thieves hit farm

A traditional family-run farm is dealing with a devastating discovery: someone broke in and stole meat from storage freezers in the farmgate shop.

It’s an unwelcome setback for Rondriso Farms, already dealing with a late spring that meant some veggie crops failed. The theft also means the family will have to buy their meat from the grocery store this winter.


Comic star chosen

Reporter readers help determine a young comic artist’s creative direction when they cast votes for a new character to star in Jasper Jubenvil’s next series.

Jubenvil, 11, announces a character called Al Lando is the winning concept. Throughout 2011, we’ve been posting Jasper’s comics each week on our Facebook page and look forward to seeing where his creative talents will take him in 2012.


Soup kitchen seeks good home

The Cloverdale Korean Presbyterian Church has been running a weekly soup kitchen outside at Hawthorne Square Thursdays. The soup kitchen – once operated by different churches in town – was a casualty of the old Cloverdale Mall, which was torn down earlier this year.

Senior minister Doo Je Kim says the needs of Cloverdale’s “friends outside” shouldn’t be forgotten.

Pacific Community Church has offered to host the soup kitchen on a temporary basis starting this fall, giving the organization a home base away from the square (and in from the rain).



Blueberry fever

Thousands of visitors pour into the historic town centre when Cloverdale hosts the 8th annual Blueberry Festival in August. Attractions include a show ‘n shine of vintage and classic cars, kid-friendly activities, a juried art show and craft fair, plus blueberry pie sales and pie-eating contests, where Ken “the Demolisher” Wong and Caitlin McDonald blow the competition away.


Talking track

After experiencing construction delays this summer, a plan that puts Cloverdale at the centre of a heritage rail revival is back on track.

The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society – dedicated to preserving the history of Interurban rail travel in the region – is relocating its operations from Sullivan Station to Cloverdale.

Along with a new garage, the society is building a replica of the original Cloverdale Station, and hopes to launch limited passenger runs in April 2012.

But soil conditions on the site at 176 Street, just south of Highway 10, force the construction project to be delayed by nearly five months. Construction is to begin in the fall instead.


All aboard

Brick Yard Station, Cloverdale’s newest commercial development, is starting to take shape.

Construction on the brick-and-steel styled shopping centre – located on a 6.5 acre site at the northwest corner of Highway 10 and Highway 15 – began in the spring.

Developer Anthem Properties says the shopping plaza will be home to a Rexall’s, CIBC, Staples, a Starbucks, Original Joe’s Restaurant, Vera’s Burgers, Quiznos, a dentist and more when completed by spring or summer 2012. The light industrial portion of the property will be developed at a later date.



Plant winds down

Weeks before its Cloverdale plant will shut down, Maple Leaf Foods inc. says its selling the facility to another processed meat company that plans to re-open it next year.

The plant is still scheduled to close on Sept. 30 (affecting 155 employees), but has been sold to Premium Brands. The new owners plan to relocate its Richmond, B.C., based Grimms Fine Foods operation to the 5523 176 Street, Surrey, location by the end of 2012.


Campus connection

A new transit shuttle will carry students and staff between the three Surrey and Langley campuses of Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

The university and its student association partnered to bring in the intercampus shuttle, to fill in gaps in TransLink bus service, which students previously lampooned by staging a campus-to-campus race where a cyclist and a runner beat the bus.

Rather than pay $30 for a TransLink U-Pass, Kwantlen students voted to pay $10 more per month for a customized pass that also finances the shuttle.


School funding freeze fury

As students return to class, calls grow louder, demanding more money from the provincial government to build Surrey schools to relieve overcrowding.

Local parent Linda Stromberg, a member of the ad hoc committee on education, says this year 7,300 Surrey students will be in portables and more than 3,000 students will be at schools with extended timetables.

By the time the $273 million in additional classroom space is a reality, more than 12,000

students will be housed in “temporary” classrooms.

The ad hoc committee that formed to address the issue is calling on Surrey residents to write, call or email their MLAs, provincial cabinet ministers and the premier.


Aloha, alumni

Surrey’s original high school will be hosting a 100th anniversary celebration next spring, Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary’s Alumni Association announces.

The reunion date is fixed at June 2, 2012. No diploma? No problem. All former students and staff are urged to save the date, and individual class years are also encouraged to start planning their own reunions for the same weekend.


He’s gone

Tolbert Taylor, Cloverdale’s oldest veteran, is laid to rest at City Centre Cemetery at a service organized by Royal Canadian Legion Branch 6.

Taylor, who passed away at 100, served in both the U.S. and Canadian militaries.


Streetcar concerns?

Will businesses in downtown Cloverdale agree to give up some on-street parking in return for a heritage street car line along 176 Street?

A City of Surrey questionnaire 
distributed to 176 Street businesses also asks if the restored streetcar “Clover Belle” would have a positive impact and attract new visitors.

The survey is part of the city’s ongoing feasibility study to consider the installation of a heritage streetcar line on 176 Street between Highway 10 and 58A Avenue.

Running a dual-track on either side of the street, instead of a single, north-south track along the eastern curb, would result in eight fewer parking spaces.

Potential route and stop locations would be at existing corner bulges on each block.

More moolah

The scale and cost of a new animal shelter in Cloverdale has gone up in price, partly due to a requirement to build roads to the new facility.

City staff asked council for a $2.5 million increase to the budget of the Surrey Animal Care Centre, bringing the total cost to $7.6 million.



Ready for the races

Nearly 500 visitors swing by the barns during Harness Racing B.C.’s open house after qualifying races at Fraser Downs Racetrack. There were line ups for free rides around the track in jog carts with drivers. Live racing resumes Oct. 7 at the historic track, where the new fall season is being hailed as a new beginning now that the longer season is being reinstated due to lobbying efforts.


Truck museum eyed

The newly-formed Surrey Heritage Society says one of its first projects may be to take on the Teamsters Freight Transportation Museum and move its 18 vintage trucks to Cloverdale.

The collection was part of the former B.C. Transportation Museum that used to be located in Cloverdale until it was shut down in 1993.


Museum 2.0 on city agenda

Surrey City Council agreed to move forward with the long-promised second phase of the Surrey Museum, the centrepiece of downtown Cloverdale.

In doing so, council allayed fears that the project had stalled.

It’s encouraging news for the Friends of the Surrey Museum and Archives Society, which had previously reminded council of $450,000 held in reserve for the expansion.

Phase two is one of the recommendations of the city’s draft Cultural Plan.

The museum completed seven years ago is less than half of the original proposal; plans were scaled back due to cost constraints when it was constructed.

More space would allow the museum to bring in traveling national exhibits that are too large for the existing exhibit hall, and increase the amount of storage space for Surrey’s historic treasures.



Super exciting news

Local skaters say they’re “super excited” by the promise of a long overdue makeover of the Cloverdale Youth Park’s skateboard facilities.

A new, covered youth park – similar to the one that opened this year at the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre – will be added to the city’s Build Surrey capital projects list.

The city’s announcement comes just days after Ollie North Skate Shop owner Shawn Jafarnejad told the Cloverdale Reporter the local youth skate park needs a complete overhaul.


Watts wave or Surrey Crush?

Mayor Dianne Watts and the Surrey First team crush the opposition on election night, sweeping seats for city council and all but one spot on school board.

Long time councillor Bob Bose, of the Surrey Civic Coalition, lost his seat after 28 of the last 33 years on council.

The Surrey First sweep dashes the hopes of Cloverdale candidates: independent Paul Hillsdon, who was running for school board, and SCC’s Gary Robinson, a council hopeful.

Voter turnout was just 25 per cent in Surrey, slightly higher than in 2008.



Under new management

A new operator takes the reins of the Cloverdale Flea Market, a Sunday tradition for bargain hunters for more than 30 years.

Andy James says it’s business as usual for the weekly market, including over the Christmas season – correcting misleading statement by the former operator, who stepped down after 30 years.

James plans to bring in buskers and family entertainment, along with other updates to the long-running market, located on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.


End of an era

The Clova Cinema announces Doris, the official greeter, is retiring after 15 and a half years.

– Cloverdale Reporter

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