Library offers amnesty

Good morning, everybody.

And a very happy birthday to the Internet, which was symbolically born on this day in 1969. So, what do you get for the global network that already has all your personal information?

Today we’ve got good news for bad book borrowers as well as a short story about a long council meeting, and, of course, COVID-19 numbers. (The numbers are bad. The vaccines are strong. The virus is adapting and we, well, not so much.)

The Coquitlam Public Library has renewed their fine-free program until Dec. 31, 2021.

Book ‘em: After first suspending overdue fines in March, 2020, the library board opted to keep waiving fines in a bid to: “eliminate barriers that could discourage customers from using the library,” according to a release from the library.

Overdue: While bookworm scofflaws won’t need to reach into their wallets to settle their debts, the library still asks readers to return items when they can.

  • The policy doesn’t cover lost or damaged items, or fines that pre-date March 16, 2020.

Meanwhile, in Port Moody late fees have been reinstated.

Construction crews in Port Moody will now be able to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Old rules: Previously, crews could buzz and hammer from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

Shorter days = longer jobs: When tighter time limits were first floated, many contractors suggested the new rules would mean longer project timelines, something that: “may delay residents from moving into their recently purchased or rented homes.”

The vote: The motion, put forward by Coun. Steve Milani, passed unanimously.

  • Construction is still not allowed on Sundays or statutory holidays.

The application fee for an exemption to the new noise bylaw is $500.

Three hours and thirty-five minutes into the March 23 Port Moody council meeting, Mayor Rob Vagramov advanced a motion to extend the meeting by 30 minutes.

With the prospect of an 11:30 p.m. end time, Coun. Meghan Lahti opposed the motion. The mayor proposed a 25-minute extension. Lahti opposed. (The vote needs to be unanimous to pass.)

The mayor moved 20 minutes, prompting Coun. Zoe Royer to make a brief statement about the risk of wasting time.

  • “We’re spending quite a bit of time going from 30 minutes to 25 to 20, perhaps to 15 . . . when we could actually spend that time effectively speaking about matters,” Royer said.

The 20-minute motion carried – but not for long, as Lahti asked council to reconsider extending the meeting.

  • “I don’t know what kind of game we’re playing here,” Lahti said. “But this is a complete waste of time.”
  • “I do agree, this is a waste of time,” Vagramov agreed.

The motion to reconsider the 20-minute extension passed in a split vote, prompting a re-vote that failed with Lahti opposed.

A 15-minute extension similarly failed. A 10-minute extension failed with Coun. Dilworth opposed.

Shortly afterward, Coun. Amy Lubik cited a looming deadline and moved a 10-minute extension. Lubik’s motion carried unanimously. 

Council then held four votes – including one motion requesting climate action funding from the province and another opposing old-growth logging – in a span of one minute and 49 seconds.

  • “If members of council were as sensitive to time as they are in the last hour of a meeting as they are in the first two hours of the meeting, we might actually start getting out of here at 10 p.m.,” Dilworth said.

Rather than a few super spreader events, the current COVID-19 surge is due to many small gathering across the province, according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The number of younger people in critical care has increased, according to Henry.
However, the rising number of variant cases has so far had no impact on the effectiveness of the vaccines, Henry noted.

Set up the jab: People born in 1950 or earlier and Indigenous people 18 or older can book their vaccination via gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated by calling 1 833 838-2323. Extremely vulnerable can also book their vaccine now.

Tri-Cities

School District #43 is reporting no new exposures.

B.C.

  • New cases: 1,068
  • Hospitalizations: 328 (96 in critical care)
  • Deaths: 3
  • Total deaths: 1,489
  • Vaccines administered: 912,056
  • Second doses: 87,474
  • Variant cases: 3,766

Other news

Schools are shutting down in Toronto

Happenings around town

  • Hyde and seek: An after-school drop-in youth program at Hyde Creek is open for registration
  • Coquitlam Heritage is hosting a book club via Zoom on April 8
  • If you’ve got it and you don’t want it, the Port Coquitlam Foundation will shred it April 10 at the Canadian Tire at 2125 Hawkins St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Looking to walk the path less travelled? Coquitlam has ideas

In other news

  • Is Port Moody politics turning toxic? This letter writer thinks so
  • Some restaurateurs had to close. Some chose to
  • Port Moody council is holding a public hearing April 13 on a proposed temporary sales centre and coffee shop at 3001 St Johns St.
  • Are you sitting down? Well, let’s talk about just how you’re doing that

One more thing

A look at a historic Port Coquitlam pet, posing with some fans

The race to serve as Port Coquitlam’s pet ambassador is underway.

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