Wednesday - Feb. 14, 2024 - Objection!

🌤 High 8C

Good morning!

We want to mix things up and deliver different stories to people with different interests, so we try not to cover the same issues over and over. It’s been one of our priorities since Day 1. Very rarely, though, an issue crops up that we have to keep writing about because, frankly, no one else is going to provide the information if we don’t. Let’s call this the Nooksack zone. So today we have another story on my former employer’s creditor protection saga—this one with news that could dramatically impact what happens to the Black Press chain and the future of local journalism in this region.

With employees being kept in the dark by their own company, I also feel a bit of a compulsion to help my former colleagues sort out what’s happening to their workplaces. So here we go again. Hopefully, you find these stories interesting and important. If not, well, eventually this thing will play itself out.

Anyways, if you want to support the work we do, please become a member. The only reason someone is writing about this $100 million bankruptcy is because of the folks who throw us some money each month or each year to do this reporting. You can become a member here.

(Also, yes, my vow yesterday to spend time wrapping up older stories has been derailed. Oh well.)

– Tyler

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.

NEWS

US feds may seek to block Black Press sale

The future of Black Press’s American papers in Honolulu, Tacoma and elsewhere should be determined by an American court, a US federal agency has argued. 📷 Shutterstock

The US government has thrown a wrench into Black Press’s attempt to rid itself of debts linked to its disastrous purchase of an Ohio newspaper 18 years ago.

In January, Black Press, which owns and runs the majority of community newspapers in British Columbia, filed for creditor protection after declaring itself unable to repay debts. The company employs more than 700 workers in BC, while also operating papers in Hawaii, Washington State, and elsewhere in Western Canada.

Two of its lenders, along with a small Southern US media company, have submitted a bid to purchase the company’s assets and Feb. 16 is the deadline for other potential purchasers to submit competing bids for an auction. But in a legal filing from last week, a US federal corporation has declared it objects to the process and warned potential bidders that it might try to put the brakes on any sale.

Related

Need to Know

🏥 The medical director of Hope’s hospital says change—and more psychiatric help—is needed to decrease the high number of overdose deaths in the community [Hope Standard]

🚭 Police seized huge quantities of smuggled tobacco and booze from properties in Langley, Abbotsford, Surrey and Victoria [Vancouver Sun]

👉 Chilliwack has expanded parking at the Community Forest [City of Chilliwack]

‼️ Long-time Abbotsford MLA reportedly won’t seek re-election this fall [Jas Johal]

🚗 Construction on Tyson Road in Chilliwack will start soon, requiring many Sardis commuters to find a new route over the next year [Fraser Valley Today]

🥁 The former drummer of Trooper lives in Abbotsford and has published a novel [Abbotsford News]

⚖ A woman was handed an 18-month prison sentence for stabbing a client in the neck [Langley Advance Times]

🚧 Abbotsford will receive $25.6 million to build more homes, quicker [CMHC]

🔈 Canada’s prison agency is backing its harm reduction measures in local institutions after criticism from a union [Agassiz-Harrison Observer]

The Agenda

The Hope Station House is ready to move and will be on its way to its new home tomorrow. 📷 Tyler Olsen

Hope Station House to move tomorrow

Hope’s old train station will take a brief drive down the Trans Canada Highway tomorrow to its new home. The Hope Station House is set to be moved Thursday morning, after weeks of prep work and years of efforts to find a new home for the old building.

The station had originally been slated for destruction before the intervention of local advocates and the Tashme Historical Society. The building has now been hoisted onto girders. On Thursday, it will be towed several blocks to the north to its new home in the centre of town. Utility prep work will begin at 7am, with the building set to begin moving at 9am. You can see a map and timeline here.

Tashme has fundraised and will work to rehabilitate the museum, while adding a new visitor centre and restaurant. The stories told will focus on the station’s position and role as a stopping off point en route to the Tashme internment camp in the Sunshine Valley. You can read our 2021 story on Tashme’s history here.

Province to announce Sumas Prairie flood funding

BC’s premier will be in Abbotsford today for what is being touted as “an announcement about making the Sumas Prairie more resilient to flooding.”

Premier David Eby will be joined by Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma, Abbotsford-Mission MLA (and BC's Agriculture Minister) Pam Alexis, Abbotsford Mayor Ross Siemens, and Sema:th First Nation councillor Troy Ganzeveld at Barrowtown Pump Station for the announcement. Notably, there is no federal government participant, despite Abbotsford asking for more than $1 billion to add a second pump station and bolster dikes along the Sumas River.

The announcement will take place at 1:30pm. The public can watch a livestream here.

Details will be released at the time.

🤝 Now hiring

Personal banker at BMO in Langley

Food counter attendant at the Blue Moose in Hope

Parts cutter at TYCROP in Chilliwack

Electrician at Accel Systems in Abbotsford

Overnight residential support worker at Growing Up Hope Society in Mission

Hiring in the Fraser Valley? Reply back and let us know!

📸 Current Cam

Each week we showcase a different photo from across the valley and invite readers to share their best guesses about where it was taken.

Think you know where this week’s Current Cam was taken? Fill out this form.

🗓 Things to do

Open Mic: Sipp Chai Cafe in Abbotsford hosts a poetry and spoken word open mic Thursday from 7 to 9pm. Details online.

Mountain film fest: The Clarke Theatre in Mission hosts the Vancouver Mountain Film Fest Feb. 15. Tickets online.

Vancouver vs. Calgary: The Vancouver Giants host the Calgary Bandits Feb. 16 at the Langley Events Centre. Tickets online.

Have an event to tell us about? Fill out this form to have it highlighted here.

Catch up

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Tyler Olsen

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