Trash talk at Green Drinks this Wednesday

Green Drinks is an informal monthly meeting of people interested in the environment and sustainability issues, held on the first Wednesday of  every month. This months’ get-together is on July 7th, starting around  6:00pm, in the “Back Room” of the Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia Street.
Green Drinks is an informal monthly meeting of people interested in the environment and sustainability issues, held on the first Wednesday of every month. This months’ get-together is on July 7th, starting around 6:00pm, in the “Back Room” of the Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia Street.

On the first Wednesday of every month New Westminster Environmental Partners hosts ‘Green Drinks’ at the Heritage Grill in New Westminster. I’ve never been able to make it down because of the kids, but I think it’s an awesome idea.

Green Drinks is a monthly meeting of people interested in sustainability and the environment, and is usually free of themes or agendas.  This week, however, there’s a special focus on Metro Vancouver’s ‘Zero Waste Challenge.’

A short panel discussion featuring local Zero Waste Challenge participants, including a community group in Glenbrook North who recently completed a 3-month “Neighbourhood Zero Waste Challenge,” will kick off the event. The Glenbrook neighbours who took the challenged significantly reduced their garbage output, and inspired a group in Sapperton to build upon this success over the summer. Here’s hoping the idea spreads to other New West neighbourhoods too!

According to the “Code” of the International Green Drinks movement, the emphasis is mingling and sharing insights, inspiration, and ideas in a very social setting. The mixed crowd of environmental professionals, politicos, community activists and general rabble-rousers ensure lively conversations.

NWEP is hoping the example of our local Zero Waste champions can inspire others to look at alternatives to expanded landfills and building trash incinerators, as Metro Vancouver is finalizing its longer-term plan for managing the region’s trash problem.

However, true to the Green Drinks Code, the panel will only be the conversation starter. With so many environmental issues jostling for attention right now, from Gulf oil spills to collapsing wild salmon populations, there will be no lack of topics for discussion.

Green Drinks is an informal monthly meeting of people interested in the environment and sustainability issues, held on the first Wednesday of every month. This month’s get-together is on July 7th, starting around 6:00pm, in the “Back Room” of the Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia Street. For info: www.nwep.ca or www.greendrinks.org

A short stroll through Glenbrook Ravine

New Westminster isn’t known for its parks. They tend to be smallish, city-like green spaces, criss-crossed with asphalt paths and dotted with picnic tables, baseball diamonds and commemorative plaques. So it’s interesting to come across something a bit wilder, like Glenbrook Ravine.

In fact, it’s probably a park by default, being a ravine, but has potential to be a pleasant area for a stroll. There is a level gravel path, but it stops suddenly at the north end when it runs out of room.

Glenbrook Ravine (map)
Glenbrook Ravine (map)
Entrance to Glenbrook Ravine
Entrance to Glenbrook Ravine

This is where I’ve come in, off Glenbrooke Drive [(1) on the satelite image]. The path is steep and don’t even think about bringing grandma with her walker. It looks like there might have been a sign here at one time, but it’s long gone. The dog doesn’t have a problem getting down, and I suppose if I had proper boots it wouldn’t have been an issue for me either. Anyway, we made it down safely.

A small creek runs through the ravine, and there are plenty of signs of partiers, or “those damn kids” scrabbling up and down the west side, presumably into the housing complex off McBride. There were plenty of robins, a few chickadees, but not a lot else in February.

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Glenbrook Ravine

Another entrance to the park, if you don’t mind stairs, is about halfway down, just off the alley behind Kwantlen Court [(2) on the image]. This one switch-backs on to the path and is much safer than the Glenbrook entrance.

The city has set up a number of sumps and drains along the ravine, including what looks like a drain to the Styx in the underworld.

glenbrookravine5
Glenbrook Ravine

Towards the southern end, if you look up the western side you can glimpse where the B.C. Penitentiary’s cemetery is.

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Glenbrook Ravine

The park ends (or starts) in the back yard of a community centre behind an apartment complex. There’s a pond and a small structure holding the Pen’s bell, complete with commemorative plaque! This entrance [(3) on the satellite image], is level and has easy access to a parking lot.

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Glenbrook Ravine

With plenty of dawdling and letting the dog snuffle for signs of squirrels (none found) it took less than half an hour to go from one end to the other.

Poor New West cops!

New Westminster police are putting their snazzy new retro-styled cruisers through their paces. It’s seems like it’s been an unusually busy – and hazardous – week for local law enforcement officers. 

Last Sunday, cops were pepper-sprayed by two youthful ne’er-do-wells near 5th Ave. and 7th St.  The attack happened while arresting the pair, following a call about an attempted theft. One officer was temporarily blinded, but neither teen got away.

On Monday, suspects in a stolen car rammed two police vehicles after the cops trapped them in the McDonald’s drive-thru on McBride. Police fired on the car, and one of the five was injured in the shoulder. The driver ran off, but was later tracked down by a police dog.

After receiving a report of a stolen car, police located it near Eighth Avenue and McBride Boulevard around 1 a.m. When the white Acura entered the nearby McDonald’s restaurant drive-thru, New Westminster police boxed it in. The driver of the stolen vehicle then took “evasive action,” police said, ramming the two police vehicles. The damage was extensive enough that they could not be driven from the scene.

“Once the cars moved into position, one of the officers got out to speak to the driver. That’s when he started ramming the cars,” said Sgt. Gary Weishaar. “The officer had to jump out of the way.”

Source: Woman injured in police shooting | New Westminster Newsleader

Then on Friday, transit police had to Taser a fare-evader at Braid SkyTrain – and one officer fell down an escalator in the scuffle. The unfortunate officer was hospitalized with serious head wounds, as well as injuries to his knees and hands. 

When the officers asked the man to show his fare, he ignored them and fled, Seaman said.

One of the officers tried to stop the man, and a confrontation between an officer and the man ensued.

When the man began to run down an up-escalator, “the physical altercation quickly escalated,” according to the police report.

During the confrontation, an officer fell down the escalator, hitting his head and knees on the sharp edges of the metal steps. Other officers twice Tasered the man, bringing him under control. At that time, a steak knife fell out of the man’s pocket, Seaman said.

Source: Officer wounded, suspect Tasered in SkyTrain fight | Vancouver Sun

Is it just me, or does it seem like there have been more violent incidents being reported lately, not just in New West, but around the Lower Mainland? 

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Police shooting injures female suspect

If you live near the 800 block of McBride, you may have heard a sound like a gunshot early Monday morning. Canadian Press has the scoop on what happened:

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — A woman is recovering from what police in New Westminster, B.C. are calling a minor injury after she was shot in the shoulder as officers tried to arrest four people in a suspected stolen car.

The incident happened at around 1 a.m. Monday morning when two police cruisers tried to box in the possibly stolen car in the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant in the 800 block of McBride Boulevard.

The suspect vehicle may have tried to smash through the two cruisers in what police describe as “evasive action,” prompting officers to fire at least one shot, injuring a woman passenger in the car.

She was taken to hospital for treatment and then returned to police custody.

Source: Woman hit in shoulder during police shooting in New Westminster, B.C. | The Canadian Press