Friday, April 19 - Bandits, basketball, and a 'homebody' athlete

☀ High19C

Good morning!

The moles are everywhere. In my backyard at least.

Last summer, I spotted one molehill right before we went camping for two weeks. When we came back, there was a mole hotel under my lawn. As someone who loves biology, I don’t want to kill the little guys. BC only has two species of mole, both of which are restricted to the Lower Mainland. (One species, the Townsend mole, is actually only found in one Abbotsford neighbourhood and is listed as an endangered species. The ones I have are the more common coast moles.)

My moles deserve to have a space to eat earthworms and snails, and raise their little babies underground. But I also don’t want my babies tripping on molehills every time they run around above ground. Getting rid of them is a tough call to make, and I can’t say I’m happy about it.

– Grace K.

Traffic & Weather

🌤 Local forecast: Langley | Chilliwack | Abbotsford | Hope

🚘 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google, and find DriveBC’s latest updates.

🛣 Click here for links to road cameras across the Fraser Valley, including those for the Coquihalla, Highway 7, Hope-Princeton, Fraser Canyon, and Highway 1 in Langley and Abbotsford.


Bandits, basketball, and a ‘homebody’ athlete

Walnut Grove’s Connor Platz will be starting his professional basketball career without leaving his hometown. 📷 Trinity Western University Athletics

Connor Platz will soon take his first professional basketball shots — and he won’t even need to leave his hometown to do it. In fact, he won’t even need to leave his gym.

After three years playing for the Trinity Spartans at the Langley Events Centre, Platz has been drafted by the Vancouver Bandits, the professional basketball team that also plays and practices at the Langley Events Centre.

It’s unusual for a newly minted pro athlete, who would ordinarily have had to travel across the continent or overseas to pursue their dream. And Platz is grateful for the opportunity to stay put.

“I'm definitely a homebody,” he said. “So it'd be nice to stay with my family and live at home while still playing with [The Bandits].”

The Bandits didn’t just choose Platz for his proximity. They drafted the 6’11” centre for the 2024 season as part of the team’s goal of producing more local talent at the professional level. But his record-making playing style could also help move the team out of its 2023 last place standings.

With 70 blocks so far this season, the 20-year-old athlete leads all of Canadian university basketball. (The next best blocker in university basketball, New Brunswick’s Javordo Mitchell, has only made 59.) And in February of this year, he almost scored a coveted quadruple-double — an achievement that only four NBA players have ever completed.


Need to Know

🚑 A head-on crash between a pickup truck and a school bus Wednesday in Mission sent two people to hospital [City News]

🗳 Langley Township councillor Misty Van Popta is running for the BC Conservatives in the upcoming provincial election [Langley Advance Times]

📱 Memes have replaced news on Facebook and that’s bad news for Canadians’ political knowledge, an unpublished study has found [CBC]

🎵 The Harrison Festival of the Arts has revealed the lineup for this year’s festival [Agassiz Harrison Observer]

💵 The federal budget is aiming for ‘generational fairness;’ a BC academic says; whether it delivers will be in the eye of the beholder [The Conversation]

💃 BC’s Ukrainian Cultural Festival is coming back to Mission on May 11 [Mission Record]

❤ Langley’s Aldor Acres farm will be holding an open house for Parkinson’s awareness this Sunday, a decade after co-founder Dorothy Anderson was diagnosed with the disease [Langley Advance Times]

🦉 An excerpt from Sarah Cox’s new book Signs of Life focuses on the lives of Canada’s last three wild spotted owls [The Tyee]; The Current wrote about the return of the spotted owls to the Spuzzum watershed in 2022 [Fraser Valley Current]

🏉 The Chilliwack Crusaders Rugby Club is heading back to the playoffs for a second year in a row [Chilliwack Progress]

📞 The BC RCMP are recruiting 911 operators at the Sardis Public Library this Saturday [Fraser Valley Today]


Join The Georgia Straight’s Playoff Bandwagon with Flight Centre!

Cheer on the Vancouver Canucks as they face the Nashville Predators in a thrilling playoff showdown—our first in a decade! Grab this chance: Nashville tickets are less than $100!

For what you’d spend on two games in Vancouver, enjoy a full weekend in Nashville with flights and hotel possibly included, making it a great deal. Dive into the playoff atmosphere and support our team in enemy territory!

Book Now – Limited Availability! Join fellow hardcore fans for this epic journey. Contact Andrew Stafford at Flight Centre Kitsilano: [email protected] or call (604) 235-6525.

The Agenda

Street-facing building additions that once housed the Trinity Western House (left) will be torn down during upcoming renovations to the original Haldi House building (right). 📷 Trinity Western House/Facebook; Eric Woodward/Facebook

Fort Langley restoration will resolve architectural “mish-mash”

Fort Langley’s Haldi House, formerly the Bedford Restaurant and the Trinity Western House, is slated for a $4 million restoration and a big move—a little bit forward and a little bit to the left.

The historic Fort Langley building was built in 1908, and sits at the end of Glover Road on the Bedford Channel, just before the south-side of the bridge. The original building currently faces an alley, rather than Glover Road. Under the restoration plans, additions that were added in 1960, 1993, and 2003 to turn the building into a restaurant (and then expand said restaurant) will be demolished to move and preserve the original building.

The original three-storey house will also be scooted up closer to the road, spun 45 degrees, and moved up next to the railroad on a new foundation. The original building’s small laundry house (a historical little shack) currently sits next to the railroad. Its fate was not defined in the plans that went before council on Monday.

“The historical alterations and changes of use to the original Haldi House over the past century have resulted in a mish-mash of architecture and disjointed building layout,” city staff wrote in a report presented on Monday. That mish-mash is what the renovation will be attempting to resolve.

The Haldi building is an Edwardian-style house located on the original site of the Hudson’s Bay Company Store. It’s considered a major influence on the style of the Fort Langley Heritage Conservation Area. Renovations and restorations are expected to take a year to a year and a half.

Langley Township Council wants the building to be a community space when the work is finished. The plans are part of the council’s waterfront revitalization project, for which council plans to spend $100,000 in funds to design and start getting permits for a new pedestrian bridge over the railway.

Plans to restore the Haldi House will be part of the public open house on the Fort Langley waterfront plans scheduled for Thursday, May 16.

As part of a membership, you get our special weekend roundup of all the things you might’ve missed each week!

💾 Flashback Friday

Eight men are dressed for work at an Abbotsford fire clay mine in 1915. 📷 P114/The Reach Gallery Museum

Abbotsford’s history is steeped in mines. The son of one of the first white Abbotsford settlers, John Maclure, found Sumas Mountain had rich deposits of fire clay, a type of clay used for making furnace bricks and complex pottery like tiles and pipes. He established the Vancouver Fireclay Company in 1905, and it soon became the largest clay company in BC. (The village of Clayburn, where the original brick factory was located, became BC’s first company town.)

The Vancouver Fireclay Company operated under various names until 2017, when the Indigenous-owned Se:math Industries, which had taken over operations of the brick foundry, was dissolved. Abbotsford’s mining traditions continue today, with gravel quarries taking the place of underground clay mines.

🗓 Things to do

✉ Stamp club: The Fraser Valley Philatelic Club is holding their first post-lockdown event this coming Sunday, April 21, in Abbotsford at the M.J. Mouat Senior Secondary cafeteria. Admission is free.

🗑 River cleanup: The City of Chilliwack is hosting its annual Adopt-a-River cleanup this Saturday. Registration begins at 8:30am at Thompson Regional Park. Details online.

😆 Comedy: Very Very Improv Theatre will perform a series of comedy games at Langley's Bez Arts Hub on tonight at 8pm. Tickets online.

CORRECTION: Yesterday’s newsletter incorrectly said author Nelson Boschman will hosting a wine-tasting and reading today. The event will actually take place on May 10. More details are available online.

Catch up

That’s it!

Thanks for reading Fraser Valley Current today ♥️ 

If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to another local.

And before you go, please let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Join the conversation

or to participate.