Friday, January 27, 2012

Mayor Dianne Watts of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada is quoted as saying 'What makes sense' in the school System of Surrey.

Not long ago [last year 2011] I had the pleasure and opportunity to meet with Dianne Watts, the Mayor of Surrey in British Columbia Canada. Ref. made to the audio interview as posted on I would like to forward a quote made from the said interview with Mrs. Dianne Watt, the Surrey Mayor. What she said and acclaimed made a profound impact on me as 'newcomer' to Canada [1988]. If effectiveness and practicalities count for anything I believe that what the Mayor is saying makes sense and should be put into an 'over-all plan' and embrace every school district. The districts planning from human resources to fiscal and budgetary means etc., and funds saved placed in the envelopes and pockets of the most efficient and performance willing teachers and this to be part of an enhancement program which would benefit the students, the teachers and the society as a whole. Here is the quote: Dianne Watts, Mayor of Surrey: "local matters which affect Surrey residents are Mrs. Watts’ top priority.

She sees two fundamental areas in which Surrey can modernize in order to make life better for everyone: education and environmental consciousness.

Schooling is one of the most important factors in growing a successful city, maintaining a vibrant and thriving economy, and developing talent native to the area in order to benefit as much as possible.
Mayor Watts’ stance on the public school system is a bit forward and, at some times, controversial. She feels that the traditional school infrastructure (big, costly brick buildings that cannot expand or contract to fit population and budgetary needs) are outdated. Instead, Watts envisions a modular education system as the backbone of the Surrey of the future. By using modular school units (what some wrongly label “trailer schools”) the city can not only provide plenty of learning space to all of the students and teachers but it can do so cost-effectively. Mobile units are able to quickly relocate if the population of an area increases and the demand for classrooms follows. Conversely, if the population of an area declines, there’s no sense in having a massive brick building sucking up city funds when a modular school design could be minimized to fit the student body.

By spending less on the infrastructure of the school system Surrey could spend more on the quality of education, thus meeting and exceeding the needs of the students while maintaining a budget everyone is comfortable with"' End of Quote For the entire audio interview and transcript go to the Audio/Interview Blog on the page: Best regards, Johan Sandstrom, BComm. 'Video & Audio Content Communication Services Provider to Professionals' EM:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

White Rock New City Website Announced January 2012

White Rock Matters - New Community [city] Website Announced - Jan. 2012 White Rock, BC January 25, 2012 City of White Rock Announces New Website In November 2011, the City of White Rock launched a new and improved web site and an updated URL thanks to the web development firm Atomic Crayon. During the first month online, the web site received 16,144 visits, with over 1,000 visits a day on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, the day of and following the civic election. “This Council has identified improved civic engagement and external communication as a strategic goal for this term,” said Mayor Wayne Baldwin. “An up-to-date web site is essential in increasing communication within our community.” During the web site’s creation, a heavy emphasis was placed on the site architecture, with the specific goal of making it easy to navigate, with content readily available for residents. Enhancing the design and ease of navigation is the site’s large cascading menu system. This innovative navigation feature complements the beauty of the site’s design while increasing accessibility. The new site boasts increased site functionality with a custom bylaws module, an integrated garbage calendar, Google translation, RSS feeds, a City Spotlight application, user poll functionality and social media integration. “When we embarked on this journey, we wanted to have a website that combined clear communication, design aesthetic and easy navigation,” said Chris Zota, Manager, Information Technology. “Having a modern website can create opportunities in government-to-citizen interaction and position the portal as a critical piece of public service delivery.” Given the demographics in White Rock, accessibility is an important feature of the new site. The site includes a text-resizer, a high-contrast stylesheet and coding standards created for screen readers, all to benefit the visually impaired. The site is also smart phone friendly, so that people using any kind of mobile device will be able to get the most out of the web site. The City of White Rock chose the hosted content management system ElementCMS through Atomic Crayon. This system was chosen to implement the new site due to its robust feature set and numerous customized modules that could be tailored and integrated. This powerful system allows City staff from all departments to update all aspects of the website themselves. The site’s innovative design and beautiful photos reflect the natural beauty that is White Rock. For more information contact: Jamie Leggatt, Communications Coordinator City of White Rock Tel: 604 541 2114 E:

Monday, January 23, 2012

News About White Rock 'report card' per se and a celebration of sorts.

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 23, 2012 City of White Rock Celebrates the Completion of Major Recreational Infrastructure Upgrades White Rock, B.C. - Join South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP Russ Hiebert, White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin, and members of Council on January 24, 2012 to celebrate the completion of over 20 recreational infrastructure upgrades across the City of White Rock. These upgrades were made possible with the support of the Government of Canada through Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Date/Time: Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. Event: Peace Arch Elementary Park, Centennial Park and White Rock Promenade Opening Location: Promenade Park viewing deck, Marine Drive at Oxford Street, White Rock, B.C. Note: In case of inclement weather, this event will be combined with the indoor event below. Date/Time: Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. Event: Centennial Park Leisure Centre and Kent Street Activity Centre Opening Location: Kent Street Activity Centre, 1475 Kent Street, White Rock, B.C. “I am proud that our Government has delivered on these important projects in White Rock,” said South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP Hiebert, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “These investments will offer improved recreational facilities which are now more accessible to area residents of all ages.” “These improvements have made our community centres and parks more inclusive and accessible,” said Mayor Wayne Baldwin. “As a result, we expect increased usage and a positive impact on the health and wellness of our residents.” Peace Arch Elementary Park and Centennial Park At Peace Arch Elementary Park and Centennial Park, upgrades were made to field facilities and infrastructure. Improvements included baseball fences that provide protection for both players and spectators, running track improvements, new bleachers and a new restroom at Peace Arch Elementary Park. The washroom upgrades at Centennial Park have increased accessibility, providing easy access to persons with disabilities and improved access for families with a new family washroom.   White Rock Promenade The Promenade upgrades included revitalized walking trails, improvements to the two washrooms, the pier and revitalized walkways to improve the connection between the city’s Town Centre and Promenade. The washrooms on Balsam Street and Oxford Street were in significant need of repair. Through these upgrades, two family washrooms were added, the number of toilets increased, three outdoor foot showers were added, and hygiene improvements were made. Improvements to the washrooms have increased accessibility, providing easy access to people who are less mobile, while making better use of the space. The previously unused rooftop of the Oxford washroom is now accessible to the public as a viewing area. The new design of the Balsam washroom allows for half of the facility to be closed during the winter months when usage is lower which provides savings in maintenance, staffing and overhead costs. Centennial Park Leisure Centre and Kent Street Activity Centre In 2011, major renovations were made to two community centres. At Centennial Park Leisure Centre this included upgrades and improvements to the ramp entrance, flooring, doors, paint, signage, telephone systems, and a fibre optic connection to City Hall. At Kent Street Activity Centre, a much needed elevator was installed, along with upgrades to the centre’s roof; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC); signage; and flooring. These improvements will be enjoyed by participants involved in the over 800 instructional programs offered at the facilities by White Rock Leisure Services. -30- For more information contact: Sandra Kurylo Acting City Manager City of White Rock Tel: 604.541.2111 Email: Jaime Burke Regional Communications Manager Western Economic Diversification Canada Vancouver, British Columbia Tel: 604-666-1318

Good Food...Good Service...Good Entertainment....Good Menu [& prices]!

Great Eatery [Restaurant] in White Rock by the Pier on Marine Drive West