Tuesday - March 5, 2024 - The Paramount sign may (partially) return

☀ High 5C

Good morning!

Last weekend, I visited friends who live near Mission’s famous (or infamous) 7th Avenue greenway. My friends told me they liked the bike lanes—and the protection it provides while walking with their kid. At the same time, they agreed that it looked a tad clunky. One of the common complaints about the project is that it doesn’t look nearly as nice as the renderings that were presented to council and the public before its construction.

The greenway, and today’s story, has me thinking a bit about those pre-construction renderings. Many projects end up looking quite different from the renderings used to sell them to local governments and the public. But it’s not always what I’ll call the “fast food sandwich effect,” wherein the image is so much more attractive than the real thing. Sometimes renderings are difficult to match in real life. But sometimes they are, uh, a little underwhelming.

The renderings in today’s story are, to my eyes, not all that nice. But that’s understandable, since creating realistic but imagined images of actual places is time-consuming, expensive, and requires a ton of talent. Indeed, sometimes a bad rendering is more useful than a good rendering. A bad rendering suggests “the thing will look at least this good, and probably better” whereas a great rendering makes one skeptical that the actual thing will live up to the image.

– Tyler

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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.


Paramount’s P possible for pedestrian path

Twelve years after it was pulled down, one of Chilliwack’s most iconic landmarks seems unlikely to ever rise again in the city’s downtown. But a facsimile may, depending on a decision today by the city’s council.

In 2012, the art deco sign of the Paramount theatre was removed from the condemned building, loaded on a flatbed truck, and sent to a storage facility. The sign had lit up Yale Road for more than 60 years and was one of downtown Chilliwack’s most prominent landmarks.

It has been tucked away in storage for more than a decade, with its memory occasionally stirring hopes that it would one day make a reappearance.

Now those dreams could be realized—but the sign’s re-appearance might not be as grand as what fans of the theatre’s sign once imagined.

Related (For members)

Need to Know

🔪 BC coroners perform far fewer autopsies than counterparts in other provinces [The Tyee]

🔎 Mission police are seeking the public’s help to locate a missing woman [Mission RCMP]

🏗 A developer wants to build more than 1,000 housing units, and potentially high-rises, on a large empty Willowbrook lot [Langley Advance Times]

🚔 A man was stabbed at a street race last month at an Aldergrove industrial park [Aldergrove Star]

👉 Harrison Hot Springs is looking for ways to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its municipality [Agassiz-Harrison Observer]

🌲 BC’s freedom of information request fees will stay, even though they’re not accomplishing their goal [The Tyee]

🗳 Abbotsford hospital workers have wearable communications devices that allow them to request help and get information more easily [Abbotsford News]

👉 Chilliwack will get a new Foundry facility, which provides health care and mental health services for youth [BC Government]

🚍 The Chilliwack School District has boosted wages to try to hire more bus drivers [Fraser Valley Today]

The Agenda

Court to decide on Black Press sale next Monday

The proposed ‘stalking horse’ sale of Canadian newspaper chain Black Press—and its Fraser Valley publications—will go before a Canadian judge next week.

Black Press’s debtors and an American newspaper company had submitted a public bid to take ownership of the chain and its papers—though not all of its debts. The chain had filed for creditor protection in January after finding itself unable to climb out of a debt hole stemming from the purchase of an Ohio newspaper nearly two decades ago.

A court filing Monday reveals that no other potential owners came forward in February with a qualifying bid to buy Black Press. As a result, an agreement has been sketched out that will see the company’s creditors, along with Carpenter Newsmedia, assume ownership of the chain. Black Press’s interim management will ask BC’s Supreme Court to approve the sale of the chain “as well as certain other relief” at a hearing next Monday.

The original publicized deal envisioned the new owners paying back former secured lenders up to $72 million, while paying 10% interest on outstanding loans. The deal, though, would have seen the new company shed more than $40 million of liabilities owed to a US federal agency that assumed the company’s American pension obligations after Black Press declared itself unable to pay them back.

That deal envisioned the transfer of Black Press’s papers on both sides of the border. But a US court ruling last month in favour of the pension agency means that the selling of Black Press’s American properties will still need approval from a US judge. The US court has said its ruling is intended, in part, to protect US creditors.


Build up, not out

Most people agree that development on Sumas Mountain is inevitable, but it’s important that we do it in a good way. That’s why Abbotsford Tech District is building up not out, so we can protect habitat and greenspace - and improve the trails we all love, not get rid of them.

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Tyler Olsen

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