Posts Tagged ‘Surrey’

Story of the day: Surrey Leader gives food bank a boost

March 15, 2011 Comments off

Surrey/North Delta Leader reporter Boaz Joseph and his Leader colleagues are nominated for its special “Faces of the Surrey Food Bank” series in the Community service category.

You can find editor Paula Carlson‘s introductory story here, which links to several in-depth features on the bank. Boaz wrote most of the stories.

In one of the most interesting stories, Boaz profiles a 79-year-old woman who once worked as a foreign correspondent for a London newspaper. And you thought only community journalists were poor…

On the living room shelf in Gillett’s tidy Guildford apartment sits a silver coffee pot from Saudi Arabia and a teapot from Sri Lanka.

“I went to some absolutely marvelous places. I spent three weeks in Riyadh with the late King Faisal.”

…Every second Thursday, volunteers with the Hampers to Your Home (H2YH) program bring the former newspaper reporter a hamper of staples, including bread, soup, cereal, canned vegetables and meat (usually fish), and pastas.

Usually, some fresh vegetables are included, although this time of year, there are fewer of those.



Gators, pinball wizards, school boards and animal people

February 28, 2011 Comments off

Lotsa stuff from around the Lower Mainland last week. (Two more posts coming later today).

Superb story, in the Burnaby Now, by Jennifer Moreau on an autistic pinball genius and aspiring poker king.

Robert’s latest passion is poker. For the past three or four months, he’s been teaching himself how to play by watching YouTube videos and has already ranked No. 11 in one of B.C.’s amateur leagues. With his natural ability to handle numbers, statistics and probabilities, Robert seems cut out for the game.

“If you ask him, ‘What are the chances of getting royal flush?’ He’ll probably say, ‘One in 650,000,’ ” Maurizio says. “He tells me this stuff, and it goes over my head.”


The poker thing blows me away because it’s generally assumed that a large part of that game is the ability to read competitors’ intentions. And yet, a major symptom of autism is the inability to pick up such social cues.

Also in the Burnaby Now, Janaya Fuller-Evans reports on allegations of bullying, infighting and other alleged misdeeds that one normally expects to see in the arts community, rather than among animal lovers.

Arnold noted many instances of harassment, from board members directly confronting her over issues to moments where she felt threatened, including when her truck was vandalized while parked at the association’s barns.



The new Black Press front pages are improved, but the stories themselves badly need paragraph breaks. I imagine someone’s working on that. Meanwhile the WordPress Theme for Black Press blogs is truly horrible and gloomy and makes me not want to read on even when the content is quite good. Please change it.


The phrase “board of education” sounds stupid. They’re school boards, they should be called as such.


I just noticed the sleazy weekly editorials in the Delta Optimist. How do you get your editorial percentage when the copy is so obviously an advertisement? The Optimist is the only Postmedia paper with a business column down the right hand side of its news page. Why? Why? Why?


A crazy crime spree in the Chilliwack area included, as Robert Freeman of the Chilliwack Progress puts it, “one woman’s emergency 911 call, one vehicle burning under the Agassiz/Rosedale bridge, one dust-up with a Chilliwack car dealer, one startled shopper in the Chilliwack Safeway parking lot – and one alligator.” Oh, yeah, and there was a marijuana grow-op involved (although I guess the presence of drugs isn’t all that surprising).

In a similar vein comes this beauty of a headline from the North Shore Outlook: “Stinky thieves steal laundry loot.” And yes, the thieves were actually smelly.


Two stories — one in the Richmond News, the other in the Coquitlam Now — about stutterers are hooked on last night’s Oscars and The King’s Speech. I think a smart PR person is probably behind each, given that they both mention Columbia Speech and Language Services, but that’s OK; the stories are good.


The Richmond Review has published its 30 under 30 section. These features about all these high-flying young achievers always depress the hell out of me, but are fun to read anyways.


Your webinar of the day:

Be like Delta Leader photog Evan Seal and turn your camera on an angle.

This Tri-City News file photo of an ambulance at a hospital is awesome. File photos don’t have to be boring.

And for some reason community newspapers forget that the simple Q and A format can make for great reading and very easy writing. Marisa Babic of the Surrey Now puts questions to under-fire Vanoc head John Furlong.

(One thing, though: we Canadians don’t have a timid sense of patriotism. We just like to pretend we do. If we weren’t patriotic Molson’s I Am Canadian commercials wouldn’t be so successful. Hopefully the Olympics ends the charade.)


Nice story (and lede) by the Vancouver Courier’s Naoibh O’Connor on a First Nations school that has rebranded itself as an “Earth School.”

Rainwater drips like a broken tap off the corner of the First Nation long house roof into a concrete barrel. Droplets barely ripple the surface of six-inch deep water pooled above a bed of rocks, sand and debris. Fidgety Grade 2 and 3 students gather around Brent Mansfield on this cool late-January morning at Grandview/¿uuqinak’uuh elementary. Mansfield, the school’s garden project coordinator, hoped for more of a downpour for today’s lesson, but a drizzle will do.



Finally, in case you missed the Black Press shuffle, the North Shore Outlook and WestEnder have got new editors.

Photo by Ryan Somma via Flickr.


That was a pretty good post, eh? Or not? Either way keep them coming by helping me out. It’s easy, quick and the pay is shite. E-mail bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com.

Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll shamefully update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Journo-Jobs, revised edition (Jan. 21)

January 21, 2011 Comments off

I’m not going to post extensively every Friday on new jobs because, really, you can (and probably will) go to Gaulin if you want a job that bad. Instead, I’ll  try to use Fridays to post on comings and goings and those job postings that say something larger about the industry.

So without further ado, Marlyn Graziano has been named publisher of the Postmedia-owned Surrey Now. She takes over for Gary Hollick. Marlyn was the editor of the paper until 2000, when she took over as editorial director of Canwest Community Publishing. Marlyn’s also been a reporter and editor at South Delta Today, North Delta Optimiest and White Rock/Surrey Sounder.

She’ll stay on as editorial director.

So good news for all Postmedia editors who want to run the show.

In other news, Kamloops Daily News city editor Susan Duncan is leaving Kamloops This Week, as tweeted by associate news editor Catherine Litt yesterday. Her job was also posted yesterday on Gaulin. Closes Jan. 21.

Steal (or borrow) these ideas

December 20, 2010 Comments off

A full-tilt Lower Mainland roundup today.

John Van Putten‘s photo in the Maple Ridge News of an up-and-coming goalie employs a great and simple concept. I’m not going to try and describe it, so just click through. Story by Grant Granger is also a solid read.

Need another photo lesson? Here’s one in the North Shore News by Rob Newell. He makes a portrait of a guy standing in front of some banners infinitely better just by rotating his camera a few degrees. Granted, his flash lighting doesn’t hurt either.  Story, by Sean Kolenko, is also great.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. When you have one person dedicated to writing the story, and another concentrating all his or her efforts on coming up with a solid photo idea, the result is a good photo and a good story, rather than a story with a photo that may look tagged on.  Alas, not all papers have the resources, but one can dream. In lieu of that, it’s probably worth thinking up some photo ideas before heading out to an interview, rather than improvising when you get to the meeting spot. (I write this as someone who has, on a couple of occasions, entirely forgot that a photo is required).

I’ll stick with the North Shore News to point out Greg Hoekstra‘s excellent feature on how local police try and round-up suspects when they have fled the city, the province or the country. The story is another great win-win concept: the cops get a chance to highlight the city’s most wanted and the work they’re doing; the reporter gets significant access to and understanding of the behind-the-scenes process, which makes for a great story — if you write it as well as Greg (I’m going to start referring to people by their first name now, just ’cause).

The Langley Times runs a timeline of the convoluted and controversial building of that city’s hockey rink (does that make it a Timesline? I’m sorry. Real Sorry.) Timelines are easy, but underused (I think we just forget that we can do them).

Michelle Hopkins of the Richmond News investigates if anybody really likes to receive gift cards. Great Christmas story. After all, when you buy a gift card, you’re simply putting a limit on how that money can be spent. Cash would seem much more logical. But many like them, Hopkins finds. (It seems to me that they’re an easy way to give, and ask for, something almost as universally handy as cash. That can be handy because of the taboo against giving cash at Christmas time.)

Diane Strandberg of the Tri-City News and John Kurucz of the Coquitlam Now both have good stories on a nurse whose life-saving treatment by a doctor at her hospital will be documented on a television show.

Tracy Holmes of the Peace Arch News with some good ol’ fire reporting:

Marc Hiatt and his family lost everything when he and five others escaped a fire at their heritage home in South Surrey overnight Friday.

But it will be a good Christmas nonetheless, Hiatt and his son, Rob, said later that morning, after surveying the remains of the 13951 Crescent Rd. house.


Need some more good ideas to steal? Glad you asked. The Richmond Review’s Kudos page deserves kudos and theft. The page showcases local good deeds through photos and gives a dynamic look to grip-and-grins and the like.

And finally, the Surrey Leader (using Google Maps) has a superb online map of that city’s best holiday light displays.

Photo by Andy Rennie via Flickr.


Help keep this blog running for weeks to come by becoming a link farmer. It’s easy, quick and the pay is shite. E-mail bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com . Also, take the poll on the right. It’s free. Lucky you.

Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll duly update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Car bombs, crossbows and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

November 25, 2010 Comments off

Crusied through the Lower Mainland papers and came across the following stories.

Good work by David Burke at the Squamish Chief on that insane improvised explosive device (a.k.a. car bomb) in Whistler the other day. Plenty of neighbour quotes makes for good reading.

Nice short story by Mitch Thompson of the Maple Ridge Times on those crazies who dress up like they lived in medieval Europe. Nice photo too.

Wow, wow, wow. This is just abominable. I feel for Marco Morelli. This story/ad was run in the Bowen Island Undercurrent and Langley Times. Morelli actually did as good a job as one could expect and thankfully buried the Black Press angle. But still… I didn’t want to write anything negative today but this is just too much. At very least the story should acknowledge that Black Press owns the paper the story appeared in. And the headline… “Group buying phenomenon offers a great deal for everyone.” Oh my.

Lighter fare (in a good way) from the Burnaby NewsLeader’s Wanda Chow, who breaks a story about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’s Burnaby connection.

Great ongoing court reporting from the Surrey Now’s Tom Zytaruk on the murder trial of Muhktiar Singh Panghali (whose name I had to copy and paste just to get it right).

The submitted photo on this Langley Times story is very, very creepy…

Michael McQuillin‘s story in the the New Westminster NewsLeader about the collateral damage that may be caused by a proposed new overpass is terrific. He actually personalizes a traffic story. Mario Bartel‘s photo is awesome too. Story also links to a powerpoint presentationon the NewsLeader’s Facebook (!) page.

Simple but well written story on a new swim coach by Phillip Raphael in the South Delta Leader.

Finally, a cool snow football picby Fred Schaad.

Photo by Victoria Reay via Flickr
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