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Snapshots: “Step it up!”

Curtailed commentary on the current theme: “Step it Up”



Print Edition: March 26,2014

(Illustrations by Anthony Biondi)

(Illustrations by Anthony Biondi)

Stock your cupboards and take cover

If you’ve read a newspaper in the last 10 years, you’ll know that an enormous subduction earthquake could hit B.C. any day. They call it the “big one.” Every paper has covered it at some point, it’s the go-to topic on a slow news day, and frankly — a lot of people are so tired of the message they rarely think about it anymore, let alone prepare for it.

Unfortunately, the papers aren’t wrong. The fact is, if you’re planning to spend your life in B.C., someday you might find yourself in a natural disaster situation with no power, no water, and no shelter.

Step up your earthquake preparedness while things are calm. Waiting until the brink of disaster is a recipe for chaos. Go online and check out one of the thousands of natural disaster preparedness checklists, take a first aid course, and stock your basement with things you’ll need in an emergency. For all we know, the “big one” won’t hit within our lifetimes — but if it does, you’ll be glad you’re prepared.



Pave to a perfect standard

I grew up in a large family. Four brothers, one sister, livin’ on a farm with plenty of chores. My parents always used to tell us — and still do from time to time — if you’re not going to do a job right, don’t do it at all. Dad used to call this the A+ theory.

Well, that theory has followed me in almost every aspect of my adult life.

Lately the construction crews in Abbotsford have been cutting up our roads to upgrade the water lines. While this work is beneficial for our city, the choppy patchwork they leave behind is not.

If I wanted to drive on a road with a tonne of dips and sharp pot holes, I would have bought an off-road vehicle. How about the City of Abbotsford pays for my lowered suspension next time?

It makes me wonder if the construction crews even drive. I hope they noticed the C- job they did.

Step it up a notch, and fix the mess you left behind.



Maxed out

Don’t leave home without your umbrella, because waiting for the bus at UFV can be a soggy experience.

There is one small covered bench. With no walls, the cover does little to protect a person from rain, and it’s barely big enough for five or six people to stand under it.

This space is insufficient for the amount of bus users at UFV.

It would be beneficial to construct covered areas for people waiting for the bus or for rides. There are also people who wait for the new shuttle bus who would benefit from a larger sheltered area, and a covered stop for public transit users could be a separate shelter altogether. Let’s face it — sometimes buses are long overdue on the Abbotsford campus.

UFV needs to step it up and build some bus shelters.



Spread the smiles

Recently I have been trying a little experiment. When I go for walks or walk to school, I no longer put in my headphones, and I generally leave my phone in my pocket — unless I’m in a hurry and need it to check the time.

Then I smile at people.

Not in a weird, creepy way (I hope). But as I’m walking along, I notice a lot more than I would if I was “plugged in.” I encounter other people — people walking dogs or strolling with a friend or, like me, going alone. Many are plugged in, but I smile at them too. Not everyone smiles back, but if they do, I wish them a good morning.

It doesn’t take much, and it usually makes a big difference in my mood for the day.

I worry sometimes that smiles are going out of style. So I encourage you to reflect on your average day — have you smiled at anyone? If not, step it up! Give yourself and someone else a happy boost.


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