OPINION: Trees fall, cadets soar
It’s clear cut
We offer a strapping, lumberjack-sized dig of the spurs to the developer who chopped down 70 trees in South Surrey this summer – damaging a riparian zone for threatened salmon species and other wildlife.
The development required the removal of 39 “significant” trees. Dozens more trees were razed on land designated as city park and private properties when those trees were removed Aug. 12.
The developer also cut into a fish-bearing stream.
Whoops! The city slapped a stop work order on the proceedings – but only after residents complained.
“You’ve ruined our future,” an eight-year-old boy and neighbour told the cutter.
Surrey’s mayor, understandably, reacted with outrage.
“There are going to be some significant fines,” Dianne Watts vowed, promising to stop the developer from proceeding and to pay fines and restitution.
“It’s beyond me how this can happen when you have a responsible person undertaking this work,” she added, indicating she’s prepared to ban them from the city.
Still, considering the amount of trees being felled by new development across Surrey, including the removal of 332 significant trees from the heritage Bose Farm at 16420 64 Ave., pending approval, Watts’ assurances are bound to be greeted with some anxiety at the loss of greenery in our city.
Hats off to air cadets
To the cadets of 746 Lightning Hawk Air Squadron, officers and parents. Thanks for the tour of your new home at the Langley Airport. It was refreshing to meet young people who are respectful, polite, funny and intelligent. Congratulations on the squadron’s pending 50th anniversary in 2013.
We understand 22 new recruits signed up last weekend.
Like the plan
Another tip of the hat for an old idea that’s being pulled down from the shelf – opening up 56A Avenue to traffic between 176 and 176A Streets.
The small block is currently home to a shady plaza and a short alley, offering a restful spot in summer but confounding dozens of drivers each week.
I know because inevitably some of those confused drivers pull over outside our office – located on the west side of 176 Street on 56A – and in obvious frustration and befuddlement, ask directions to businesses on the opposite side of the pedestrian walkway blocking the view and the route.
Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t race in, double parked, seeking the way to some local businesses or other – from the Surrey Museum, Cloverdale Library, and more – but they don’t understand how to get there.
The Cloverdale BIA recently agreed to lend its support a plan to ask the city to study the idea in more detail. Not a promise, but a promising development.
We’ll miss the trees, but will enjoy a more functional downtown. Now... what about that long-promised gateway signage pointing visitors along the bypass to the historic town centre?
Dann’s the man
We note this week that Surrey’s longest-serving businessman has put his iconic 1920 Cloverdale building up for sale.
Allan Dann, 87, of Dann’s Electronics, has been threatening for years he wants to retire.
Dann grew up in the apartment upstairs, and eventually took over his father Ernest’s business in 1973.
To Allan and his assistant Gail: there isn’t a hat large or wide enough to contain all the best wishes we’re sending your way.
– Jennifer Lang is the editor of the Cloverdale Reporter