The Vancouver Police Department doesn’t believe recent damage to headstones and grave markers at Mountain View Cemetery on Fraser Street is a hate crime.
VPD spokesperson Lindsey Houghton told me via email Monday that despite the fact the damage was confined to the predominantly Jewish and Chinese sections of the cemetery, police believe it was caused by disrespectful partiers turned vandals and was not targeted at race or religion. The VPD arrived to find dozens of empty beer bottles and cans strewn around the area.
“Our forensic identification unit recovered a number of cans and bottles and they’re testing them in the event we can identify any suspects,” said Houghton.
Which means the VPD is getting C.S.I. on the punks police suspect were partying in the cemetery early Saturday morning.
The VPD received a phone call at 7 a.m., July 28 from someone walking through the cemetery who spotted the damage, which includes smashed grave markers, broken and overturned headstones, and damage to a marble bench in front of the Asian pagoda.
While the VPD was canvassing the area following the discovery of the damage, residents reported a group of youths could be heard partying in the cemetery between 1:30 and 2 a.m.
“The vandals that did this showed a complete lack of respect to the deceased and their families,” said Houghton. “We urge anyone who has information about this despicable act to come forward and do the right thing so those responsible can be held accountable.”
Police are asking anyone who saw the youth in the area at the time or has information about this vandalism to call the VPD or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
I heard from Lorna Gibbs this week who was excited to tell me that after several years of dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, the Southeast Vancouver Seniors Arts and Cultural Centre Society has finally been approved for charitable status.
That means to Gibbs and other members of the society can ramp up the fundraising for at South Vancouver seniors centre they’ve strived for more than a decade to become a reality. Gibbs says the official status will allow the society to now issue tax receipts for charitable donations. The society is hosting its annual general meeting Sept. 13 in board room 202 of the Killarney Community Centre, 6260 Killarney St., at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome.
I’ve been receiving quit a bit of feedback from readers regarding the A-maze-ing Laughter sculpture installation at English Bay.
As I reported in this column last week, the bronze sculptures will remain in Vancouver due to a donation of $1.5 million from the Wilson family, the owners of yoga-wear giant Lululemon.
Based on the feedback, readers either love or hate the giant laughing men frozen in mid-laughter. One reader wrote in part, “I find the A-maze-ing Laughter sculpture doesn't have the levity of mirth, but seems aggressive and bordering on hideous.”
But another wrote in defence of the work: “I think the sculpture is a hoot, and should stay just where it is. It makes me happy every time I see it, not such an easy thing to do in anal retentive Vancouver.”
July 28th marked the one-year anniversary of Hillcrest Centre, which also coincides with the 2012 Summer Games in London England.
According to parks staff, since opening last year the $88.6 million centre has continued to exceed expectations with more than 2.7 million visitors.
The legacy centre was used during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games as the official Olympic curling venue. Following the 2010 Games, Hillcrest was converted from the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games' curling and wheelchair curling competition venue into a community facility that today includes aquatic and fitness centres, an NHL-sized ice rink, gymnasium, dance studio, numerous multipurpose rooms, the Terry Salman Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, the Vancouver Curling Club and the Blue Parrot Cafe.