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Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News - July 8, 2011 Online Edition

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News - July 8, 2011 Online Edition

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Published by mapleridgenews
The complete July 8, 2011 issue of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, visit www.mapleridgenews.com
The complete July 8, 2011 issue of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, visit www.mapleridgenews.com

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12/24/2012

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It’s time to turn to Twitter
.
p
39
Along the Fraser
It’s time to speak upfor education.
 
p
6
Maple Ridge’s mayor likes theidea of tacking another two centsa litre on to the gasoline tax toget the $1.4-billion Coquitlam Ev-ergreen line underway, but alsosays a final financial fix has to befound.“We need to work on longer-term options,” Ernie Daykin saidWednesday after TransLink’sMayors’ Council agreed on theextra two cents, which would beeffective next April, as well asother initiatives.The tax increase will generateabout $40 million more in rev-enue, which should cover mostof the annual borrowing cost of TransLink’s $400-million sharefor the project.If the province agrees, Trans-Link fundraising could includelonger term measures, such as avehicle levy or road and bridgetolls.“I think weneed to beopen enoughto consider arange of op-tions.”Like hiscolleaguesin Trans-Link, Daykindoesn’t likeraising prop-erty taxes topay for transportation.“If we can find long-term fund-ing sources, then additional prop-erty taxes won’t be necessary.”But he would only support avehicle levy that would be gradu-ated – with motorists in areassuch as Maple Ridge and Langleywith less transit, paying reducedrates, while those with bettertransit, pay a higher levy. Thelevy should also be geared to thefuel efficiency of a vehicle.“A flat fee – no, forget it.”Daykin says even residentsoutside Metro Vancouver shouldcontribute.
Levy, more tolls could beadded, as well
THE NEWS
Gas tax to increase 2¢ a litre
Coun. Beckerrunning orPitt mayor
A third city councillor will be com-peting for the mayor’s seat in PittMeadows come November, a spotthat’s been held by Don MacLeanfor the past 12 years.John Becker, a three-term coun-cillor, made the announcementThursday after “mulling” over thedecision since April, when MacLeanrevealed he will not be seeking re-election.The owner of Becker & Company,one of the region’s oldest and larg-est law firms, he’s figured out howhe can cut back on work and dedi-cate more time to city hall.“It’s been 10 years I’ve been doingthis,” said Becker, who began hiscivic service in 2001, when he wasselected to sit on the city’s agricul-ture advisory committee – a posi-tion he still holds.
See
Mayor
, p
15
See
 
Tax
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5
Friday, July 8, 2011 · Serving Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows · est. 1978 · 604-467-1122 · 50¢
www.mapleridgenews.com
Gardening
 Stunning summer-bloomingheathers
.p
19
Daykin
Opinion
6
Along the Fraser
6
Home&gardening
19
Community Calendar
36
Business
39
Scoreboard
42
Classifeds
44
Index
Joins two others, could leavethree seats open on council
A
place or Hadiya girlsto belong.See story
 ,
p3
by
Monisha Martins
 staff reporter 
by
Phil Melnychuk
 staff reporter 
Top cat
 Jenna Diersch, 8, as the Cat in the Hat, GaretteOsborne, 8, as Maicy, and Dylan Green, 9, asHorton perform in the Theatrix Youth TheatreSociety’s Extreme Theatre Camp at the ACTon Thursday. The camp ends today with aperformance for parents.
 
Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS
Office: 604-945-2999
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Cell: 604-928-3169
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Custom built, beautifullyappointed home on ½ acrelot with a detached shop11321 241A Street, Maple Ridge
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2
 
-- Friday, July 8, 2011 --
THE NEWS
- www.mapleridgenews.com
 Your fireplace specialist...
11834 226
th
St. Maple Ridge604-467-2200
Beat the Ban
Put the
 fire 
back in your camping
Get them before they are sold out 
 visit early for best selectionLarge BarbecueJackson Patio Fire Portable Grill
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www.mapleridgenews.com -
THE NEWS
-- Friday, July 8, 2011 --
3
I
t was two years after JaneMuema and her husbandChris came to Canada fromtheir native Kenya when theirdaughter said the words thatmade Jane’s heart sink.
“I think we don’t belong here,” Pendosaid, then four years old. “It’s time to gohome.”The first two years in Canada had beena difficult transition. They had no fam-ily or friends here when they arrived in2001. And Canadian culture was provingdifficult to adjust to.Jane and Chris had both attended Seat-tle Pacific University, where they earnedMBAs on scholarships. After returningto Kenya, the young family decided to im-migrate to Canada, based on the strongpublic education system and the lack of crime and corruption here.Kenya is a scary place to raise a fam-ily, Jane admits. Security was an ever-present concern, with kidnappings androbberies common in Nairobi.“We had a very positive experiencein Seattle, and we knew Vancouver wasvery similar,” Jane says.The family eventually settled in MapleRidge and bought a home here. However,the transition to life in Canada was moredifficult than they expected.“When we moved to Maple Ridge, wefound ourselves feeling very isolated,”Jane says. “Canadian culture is very dif-ferent ... it was not as welcoming as Afri-can culture.”The problem wasn’t that Canadianswere necessarily unfriendly, she says, itwas just that everyone seemed to keep tothemselves.“The Maple Ridge community is veryestablished,” she says.Being one of the few black families intown, the family felt racially isolated, aswell.Pendo says she still feels like an out-sider sometimes.“I still feel like people stop and stare,”she says. “It’s annoying because it hap-pens so often.”When Jane reached out to other fami-lies of African descent in the area andfound they were experiencing a similarculture shock, she decided she needed todo something to help local children ad- just to life in Canada.With the financial support of the Bru-nette Fellowship Church, Jane foundedthe Hadiya Girls’ Group.The group provides an opportunity forgirls of African descent to connect witheach other, and share the challenges of adjusting to life in Canada.“This is a place where the kids of Afri-can descent could belong,” Jane says.The group features about a dozen girlsfrom Rwanda, Uganda, Zimba-bwe, Burundi, Liberia, Kenya, aswell as Haiti and Columbia.In addition to learning aboutCanadian culture, they groupalso aims to educate non-Afri-cans in the wider communityabout African culture. The girlsare invited to bring a friend fromschool to the meetings, so theycan learn about African culture,too.The group celebrated it’s one-year anniversary last month,and Jane says she hopes to expand theprogram into Surrey and other areas.“There is a growing need in the com-munity,” she says. “The first four or fiveyears here, you’re really figuring out if you are coming or going.”Jane’s son initially had difficulties inschool because his teacher thought hewasn’t participating in class discussions.“He would just keep quiet, and theteacher interpreted it as disinterest, buthe scored very well in tests,” she says.In African schools, however, studentsaren’t encouraged to speak up – theymust sit still and only speak when spo-ken to.“Many teachers don’t realize how muchchange a child is going through,” saysJane. “This day, the group has assembledat Jane’s home to make Father’s Daycards out of construction paperand pipe cleaners. Many of thegroup’s activities are centeredon important events in Canadianculture.For last month’s Royal Wed-ding, the girls dressed in tiarasand pink and yellow gowns andcelebrated with a high tea. Inaddition to learning about themonarchy, Jane used the oppor-tunity teach the girls about man-ners and etiquette.It’s been 10 years since Janeand her family moved to Canada, andPendo says she’s happy to be living inCanada now.“It’s a joy,” she says. “I still miss Africa,but not as much.”As for Jane, she says she’s stoppedthinking like a Kenyan, and started think-ing like a Canadian.“What I really appreciate about [Cana-da], is that it you can make a differencehere if you chose to identify somethingyou are passionate about,” she says.
A place for Hadiya girls to belong
 Join Hadiya Girls
To learn more about the Hadiya Girls Group, contactJane Muema at 604-466-9066.
Story by
 
Robert Mangelsdorf 
 Jane Muema(left) instructsthe Hadiyagirls as theyconstructFathers’ Daycards at herMaple Ridgehome.
Robert Mangelsdorf/THE NEWS
 Jane Muema
WildPlayMaple Ridge1-888-590-7274

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