Monday - March 11, 2024 - Seeking spring

🌧 High 9C

Good morning!

I really like this time of year in the Fraser Valley. It’s nearly spring, and the anticipation—for longer days, cherry blossoms, more sunshine—is building. It’s even more satisfying when I remember that, up north where my parents and some of my friends still live, spring won’t even think of showing up for another month. Today, we have two of our spring-iest stories for your perusal: one nice, and one not-so-nice. We’ll have brand new stories later this week.

– Grace

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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.


When does spring begin?

Cherry blossoms come with spring in the Fraser Valley. 📷️ Pixabay

Winter never quite got the Fraser Valley into its icy clutches this year. There were moments when arctic air blew down into the Lower Mainland—but those moments were few and far between.

On the heels of such a strange season, spring feels almost anticlimactic—and, even, a little worrying. As farmers eye their dry fields and firefighters eye drought-struck forests, spring comes sauntering around the corner.

Last year, when winter dragged on and spring dragged its heels, we asked the age-old question: When does spring really start?


Need to Know

🏗️ The Township of Langley is worried about growth outpacing infrastructure as development continues [Global News]

🌲 The City of Mission reported record profits from logging in its municipal forest [City of Mission]

🚬 The RCMP confiscated $12 million of illegal cigarettes in Mission and Maple Ridge [Abbotsford Police/Twitter]

🚘️ A Fraser Valley man was awarded $2.1 million after getting rear-ended three times in the span of a couple years [Vancouver Is Awesome]

🌳 A secret map suggests the forestry ministry is earmarking old growth for logging—against the recommendations of a panel of scientists [The Tyee]

🧟 A Mission chalet is a filming location for The Last of Us’s second season [MobileSyrup]

🚓 Three men are facing charges for a Mission break and enter [Mission Record]

🧬 New genetic research at BC Children’s Hospital has given a Hope family answers about their child’s health [Hope Standard]

👉 A Langley couple say they are leaving their basement suite after their upstairs landlord was targeted in a drive-by shooting [Vancouver Sun]

🚔 Gunfire was reported in a Mission neighbourhood, but no injuries or damage were reported [Mission Record]

🥕 An Abbotsford teacher is teaching kids about community and communication through food [Abbotsford News]

👉️ The husband of slain Langley woman Naomi Onotera admitted he had punched her, a judge heard in a pre-trial hearing [Langley Advance Times]

📺️ America reality TV personality Bethenny Frankel has been hanging out in Abbotsford [CBC]

🦝 Invasive beetles are leading to more raccoon activity in Mission [Mission Record]

🍽️ Do you have a favourite Abbotsford restaurant? Nominate it in the Georgia Straight Golden Plates in the Best Abbotsford Restaurant category here.

Extrasensory and Spiritual Practice Development Mentoring offered By Rev. Lea Walters. March 17th from 11am-4pm at The Energy Wisdom and Tea Lounge. 11932 Dewdney Trunk Road, Mission.*

*Sponsored Listing


Why Alberta burns first

The Boundary Lake wildfire broke out near Fort St. John in May, 2023. 📷 BC Wildfire Service. 

After a dry winter and a drought that hasn’t resolved since last summer, wildfire concerns are rising again in BC, with officials warning that another bad wildfire season is possible.

A handful of ‘holdover’ fires still burning from last year continue to emit smoke in Northern Alberta and BC—and threaten to spring to life. Different parts of the problems tend to face wildfires, but at different parts of the year—and the colder north tends to see an earlier start to wildfire season than warmer climates in Southern BC.  


Chilliwack welcomes back the iconic Botanica Tulip Festival

Botanica Tulip Festival in Chilliwack is gearing up for a spectacular debut this April. Conveniently situated off Highway 1, this reimagined event promises a captivating experience for visitors from near and far. Set against a picturesque country backdrop, guests will be immersed in the vibrant hues of over 1.5 million bulbs spanning 13 acres and 59 distinct tulip varieties. 

New this year, Botanica will offer food trucks, floral workshops, unique photo opportunities and a farm store offering local products. The festival will also have an expanded Upick area, where visitors can hand-pick their tulips to bring home with them. Tickets are to be released later in March, visitors are advised to check their Instagram and website for updates on ticket sales and opening dates.

The Agenda

Black Press’s corporate jet looks like this small plane.

The Black Press jet

We found the Black Press corporate jet.

Last week, we reported on the potential endgame that may see the Black Press newspaper chain—and its Fraser Valley publications—finally sold in the coming weeks. That story included the revelation that, despite financial troubles dating back years, the company had only recently sold a corporate jet. (The existence of the jet had not been known to most Black Press employees.)

Now we know what that jet looks like. We asked Peter Vogel, a retired tech journalist and teacher, if he could track down specifics about the jet based on its registered owner. And it only took a few minutes for him to deliver the goods.

The aircraft in question was an Eclipse 500, a very small jet Black Press bought brand new in 2008. Vogel said the jet cost $2,700 to fly, though tax rules allowed companies to write off some costs associated with corporate jets. The jet was sold in the last year. Black Press’s balance sheet shows the Oregon company set up specifically to hold the jet closed 2024 with a deficit of $1.3 million, after the plane was sold for about $937,000.

🗓 Things to do

✒️ Poetry open mic: SippChai Cafe in Abbotsford is hosting an Open Mic Night for poetry and spoken word artists on Thursday, March 14. Details online.

🌙 A Midsummer Nights Dream: Trinity Western’s Theatre Department presents its final play before the department closes, A Midsummer Nights Dream, starting Tuesday, March 12 and running until March 23. Details online.

⛰️ Mountain movies: The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival will be at the New Hope Cinema on Wednesday, March 13. Ticket sales will raise money for the Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning. Details online.

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Catch up

That’s it!

Thanks for reading Fraser Valley Current today ♥️ 

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

Grace Giesbrecht

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