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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Adventures of Bog Boy!

Adventures of Bog Boy
Rumour has it they found me floating down the slough in a wicker basket but that's a different story!
The South Fraser Perimeter Highway wasn’t the first controversial highway over Crescent Slough, in Ladner and Delta, BC. Nor was the ongoing Southlands (formerly known as Spetifore lands) property development proposal/debate/protests in Tsawwassen, BC along Boundary Bay the first urban sprawl gone mad. I recall fighting and working to protect farmlands, wetlands, estuaries and wildlife ever since I was a kid. Little did I know that growing up as a Ladner Bog Boy would impact the way I see the world for the rest of my life.

Back in the 1959 not long after the construction of George Massey Tunnel, Highway 17 cut Crescent Island farmland in half to service the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal which began service in 1960 and widened from two to four lanes in 1973.

Duane BurnettMy mom Jackie Burnett would later spearhead a group of parents to have a pedestrian walkway built over Highway 17 for kids to get across the dangerous intersection. They first built a wooden staircase over-pass which was next to impossible to take your bike over, and as the traffic volume magnified, and parents protested more, they eventually built the cement pedestrian overpass you still see connecting Ladner and East Ladner.

While I was oblivious to the controversy around so called "progress" of build more and build some more, my memory as a child that I remember was the Highway 17 construction created this huge pond near the intersection with Trunk Road that froze over in the winter offering a spectacular and huge outdoor skating rink.

Duane BurnettWhen my family moved from Gibsons Landing, BC to Ladner I was only a couple years old. We first rented a home near the Sacred Heart Church on Arthur Drive abutting the slough while waiting for our new house to be built. Five months later we moved to Crescent Drive in East Ladner which ran parallel to Crescent Slough. Back then there were only six houses in East Ladner and plenty of open fields and farmlands for kids and wildlife.

We lived about three houses in from Highway 17, and while the constant drone of vehicles and progress encroached on our lives I was more fascinated with the muddy waters and wildlife of Crescent Slough. Yes some would call it a big ditch but growing up as a young boy it was anything but!

My parents moved into a bungalow at 6021 Crescent Drive in East Ladner on May 1st, 1968. Back then there were 6 houses between Highway 17 and 64th Street. Highway 17 was really just a two lane road to the new Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal which opened in 1964. When the highway was enlarged to four lanes it cut off direct access between the subdivision on each side of the highway. The only means to get from Crescent Drive on one side of the highway to the other was to double back and detour to Trunk Road or take the boat through the tunnel under the highway on Crescent Slough.

Duane BurnettIt often turned out to be a nightmare for emergency vehicles who often showed up on the wrong side of the highway.

As I think back to sleepy Ladner and Tsawwassen in the 1960’s and 1970’s I remember the old Paterson Park Race Horse Track which slowly fell into disrepair. but didn’t stop us from exploring its decrepit grand stands where I remember finding a 20 dollar bill and spending it all on candy with my visiting cousins at the convenience store across from Delta Manor Elementary school.

For me the slough was a source of creativity which inspired me to build a “Jaws” ride to scare the neighbourhood kids at only five cents a ride. I also held lots of puppet shows, magic shows, variety shows, haunted houses and even started producing my own special effects films including Earthquake and my own version of the Hindenburg that nearly burnt the house down. Please don’t tell my Mom!

My love for movies and film and special effects would later lead to me producing around 15 shows about the environment and AIDS with Delta Cable Community Television which were broadcast throughout the Lower Mainland, and today I continue to host shows, auctions and telethons on the Sunshine Coast, BC with Coast TV.

Duane BurnettMom tells me that the crop dusters flew so low across the Burr family’s farmland that it singed her laundry out on the close lines one day. Later we would notice a steady decline in wildlife contaminated by the pesticides including the complete loss of the giant bull frogs as big as a side plate. One time a crop duster got too close to the underbelly of a giant jet heading to the Vancouver International Airport, and got sucked up in the vortex, smashing the tiny crop duster into the huge plane and causing the duster to plunge straight down into the slough! I heard the tip of the plane's tail wings were 12 feet in the mud. Urban legend?

I remember all the muskrat, ducks, geese, carp and swans that lived in the slough year round that often got caught in the leg hold traps and snares set out along the slough by trappers. In later years when I moved on past University life the Delta Optimist covered a story about my mom Jackie’s cat being nearly choked to death by two snares around its neck. I even remember swimming in the slough and getting covered in the thick black smelly muck. It was the time of our lives!

One of my childhood friends David Van Rheenan and I loved to test the limits of the ice that use to turn the slough into a skating rink each year but I understand that it doesn’t freeze much anymore.

We would often walk across the farm fields and laugh at the giant mud slippers that sucked us into the earth on our way back and forth from exploring the bog and garbage dump. Later my parents would get an aluminum boat which we would row out to Burns Bog when the water level was low and we could get through all the tunnels installed under the farm roads and highways.

I remember this one time finding a robins nest amongst the hundreds of spider webs lining the inside of the tunnel and taking an egg home to incubate against the squawking protests of the mother. Unfortunately I cooked the egg with a heat lamp and have felt terrible about it every since. Lesson learned!

Duane BurnettThe garbage dump and bog was always a great adventure. We would see deer and all kinds of strange plants and birds. The dump itself, was like finding a hidden treasure chest full of wonderful junk and giant pumpkins. One time at the dump there was a seagull with its leg hopelessly caught in some fishing line. We finally managed to set it free but not after a few nasty bites from its beak.

We had a beaver move into the neighbourhood and it chopped down the birch tree I had so proudly planted as young boy.

My stepfather Ed use to buy feed from the old Co-op store in Ladner for the ducks and squirrels who became so friendly and welcome in our back yard that they often came into the house for treats. The hunters would shoot the ducks along the slough and right from the side of the Highway which really upset me.

Mom worked at the Gillnetter Café in the Ladner Hotel (way back when.. who remembers that coffee shop? It had a long coffee counter and this clock with advertising that flipped over and over again) and the police station was in what is now the Delta Museum and Archives. I was always fascinated with this clock at the 50’s style café.

The crop dusting and continued growth of housing in East Ladner eventually led to the demise of many muskrats, carp and and most tragically for me the giant bull frogs which have since become of mythic proportion in my inner child’s minds eye.

My mom later worked at the Cassiar Cannery in Richmond on Rice Mill Road. She would come home wreaking to high heaven of dead fish smell.

I remember this colouring book some friends and I created year's later, after going to the University of British Columbia to get a B.A. in Political Science, called The Adventures of Fraser about Fraser the duck who returns to find his home is now a golf course. Saddened he finds solace in Crystal the fish who’s underwater home is polluted. The pair are befriended by a couple of kids who clean up their back yard and declare it a protected habitat for wildlife.

When I think back on it, I realized that cartoon colouring book mirrored my own life. Funny my studies in politics, environmental science and the Fraser delta estuaries would be succinctly summed up by a childrens colouring book. I would love to see it re-published. It really is a gem.

I was very active in high school volunteering and doing theatre and stuff where I honed my skills on trying to ban leg hold traps showing films and having discussions about humane trapping methods. I would also get involved in the Don’t Dump on Delta committee, and started my career in the media writing a story about the campaign for a local publication, it was the "South Delta Now" or "Sunshiner" I think.

Duane BurnettI also took my environmental message to the Ladner Pioneer May Day parades where I would build floats about banning the leg hold traps and protecting wildlife. I won many awards for best Novelty float and volunteered year after year to help put the event together. One year a reporter from the Delta Optimist took my photo with a local business person while judging the best decorated store window contest and another year a photo of me pulling a float of a pioneer wagon scene loaded with real dirt! Man was that heavy to pull through the entire parade route! I held on to the float in front of me quite a lot!

One of the strangest things, is the chronic dreams and nightmares I still have to this day about the slough and Ladner, and BC Ferries where I was hired as an Expo 86 kid at Tsawwassen Terminal. The severe sleep apnea probably doesn't help much and no doubt the real fear of loosing such a critically vital area for global populations of waterfowl. Estuaries are the most unique and productive eco-zones on earth and it saddens me greatly to see them chipped at and destroyed by pollution and urban sprawl.

I do still have many memories of growing up in Delta to share! Like the award winning international wetlands education society the Friends of Boundary Bay and Fraser for Life society I co-founded with Martin Keeley, where I went after major corporation sponsorship, knowing that business must lead the way to saving the planet, but they will have to wait for another day. (teaser)

I must say I probably wouldn't recognize Ladner anymore, or Tsawwassen. Where childhood fields and wetlands once supported child hood fun but now are drowning in concrete, asphalt, urbanization and kids bored out of their skull with X-Boxes and Guitar Hero.

Many thanks to the Delta Museum and Archives for kindly helping me with some back ground details and jogging my memory banks!

Duane BurnettI am now living on the Sunshine Coast, BC Canada and I continue to help be of service to the community and do whatever I can to help the Earth.

Photos (C) Duane Burnett
All rights reserved

Duane Burnett is a "community spirit" award winning Master photographer, photo journalist, television host, actor, social networker and more. His images have been seen extensively on the Sunshine Coast and around the world in numerous newspapers, websites, brochures, map guides, magazines and on the big 50ft screen before the local movie theatre starts.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Delta Council Ignores Will of the People

Delta City Municipal Hall British ColumbiaAt Monday’s Delta Council Meeting, staff revealed the results of the recent Ipsos Reid survey, gathering Tsawwassen’s opinion on issues including the designation of the Southlands. Of the 5,483 residents who completed the survey, 62% wanted no development and voted to maintain the agricultural designation of the Southlands.

In a report submitted by Delta CAO George Harvie, it was noted that a “strong majority of respondents want to see no change to the existing land use policies for the Southlands”. Further, Mr. Harvie’s report recommended the new Tsawwassen Area Plan (TAP) maintain the current agricultural designation. However, Council rejected these recommendations and voted to amend Mr. Harvie’s report to only “consider the recommendations”; thereby giving the Tsawwassen Area Plan Committee the final say on any policy revisions.

“By voting down Mr. Harvie’s recommendations Delta Council has chosen to ignore the will of the people,” stated Dana Maslovat, one of the organizers of Southlands the Facts.

“While I’m pleased by the results of the survey, I’m very disappointed with the reluctance of Council to accept Mr. Harvie’s original recommendations”, said Maslovat, noting that more Tsawwassen residents completed the survey than voted in the last civic election. “Council has been continuously asking for public opinion, yet when they receive a clear majority decision they still want to ensure they have the final say. It’s clear that Council no longer feels compelled to act in the best interests of the community and believes it can ignore the majority of citizens they represent.”

The potential re-designation of the Southlands agricultural land to accommodate a housing development is by far the most contentious component of the process undertaken to revise the existing Tsawwassen Area Plan. Any redesignation will change the Official Community Plan and open up the Southlands for a 1900 unit housing development by Century Holdings.

This piece of farmland was the cause of the longest public hearing in Commonwealth history and a resident run plebiscite in 1989, which prevented a 2000 unit development that was proposed for the same property

Tsawwassen Says No To Development on the Southlands

Tsawwassen Area Plan Southlands SurveyLast night at the regular Delta city council meeting representatives from Ipsos Reid were in to present the results from the recent mail out survey sent to all residents and businesses of Tsawwassen. The survey covered Tsawwassen land use topics from building heights and infill housing to the controversial Southlands Development. The survey was mailed in early June to all 8,000 residential properties and 360
businesses in Tsawwassen. Ipsos Reid was pleased that participation was beyond expectation with 5,483 valid residential surveys returned as their goal was 5000. It was noted that more people filled out their surveys than turned out to vote in the last municipal election, showing just how important the people of South Delta took this survey. In contrast, businesses were less concerned with the survey as only 106 of the 360 surveys sent out to businesses were returned.

On the main issue regarding the designation of the Southlands, 62% of Tsawwassen residents voted to retain the current agricultural designation and not allow any residential or commercial development. The following is a break down of the entire survey:

1. Which option do you support in relation to possible updates to the Tsawwassen
Area Plan?

Option A: No change  3,395  61.9%
Option B: Some change  2,039   37.2%
No opinion  7  0.1%
Blank/Invalid responses  42  0.8%
Total  5,483   100.0% 

2. What height limit should the Corporation of Delta specify for buildings in the Town
Centre area of Tsawwassen?

4 storeys (current limit)  3,324  60.6%
5 to 6 storeys  1,149  21.0%
7 to 8 storeys (concrete construction)  589  10.7%
More than 8 storeys (concrete construction)    275  5.0%
No opinion  81  1.5%
Blank/Invalid responses  65  1.2%
Total  5,483  100.0% 

3. Should the Corporation of Delta allow more single family subdivisions in

Yes  2,207  40.3%
No  2,973  54.2%
No opinion  252  4.6%
Blank/Invalid responses    51  0.9%
Total  5,483   100.0% 

4. Should the Corporation of Delta allow more townhouses, condominiums and
apartments close to the Town Centre?

Yes  3,373  61.5%
No  1,889  34.5%
No opinion  177  3.2%
Blank/Invalid responses    44  0.8%
Total  5,483   100.0% 

5. Should the Corporation of Delta lower the maximum height of new houses in

Yes  2,705  49.3%
No  2,391  43.6%
No opinion  342  6.2%
Blank/Invalid responses   45  0.8%
Total  5,483   100.0% 

DVD Releases Tuesday June 29, 2010

This Weeks Pick: The White Ribbon On the eve of World War I, strange accidents in a small Protestant village in Northern Germany involve the children and teenagers of a choir run by the schoolteacher and their families. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery as the events gradually take on the character of a punishment ritual. Winner of the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and an Academy Award-nominee for both Best Foreign Language Film and Best Achievement in Cinematography. In German with English subtitles. Vitals: Director: Michael Haneke. Stars: Ulrich Tukur, Burghart Klaussner, Rainer Bock. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 144 min., Drama, Box office gross: $2.156 million, Sony


Bass Ackwards (2010) A man coming off a disastrous affair with a married woman has a lyrical, strange and comedic cross-country journey in a modified VW bus. Extras: Commentary, "The Making of Bass Ackwards; deleted scenes; bloopers. (New Video/Flatiron Film Company).

Beautiful (2009) Peta Wilson, Aaron Jeffery. After a third teenage girl disappears from their idyllic suburb, Suzy -- the girl-next-door of every boy's dreams -- persuades Daniel, a 14-year-old with an obsessive crush, to help her uncover the terrible truth. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (E1 Entertainment).

Blood on the Highway (2008) Deva George, Nate Rubin, Robin Gierhart. Three maladjusted twentysomethings -- on their way to a rock concert -- accidentally wander into a town populated by bloodthirsty, dim-witted vampires. With no way to escape, they join the last remaining humans and prepare for an all-out, no-holds-barred battle with an army of the undead. (E1 Entertainment).

The Brotherhood VI: Initiation (2009) Latest installment in the franchise has a group of pledges arriving at a secluded lake cabin for a fraternity initiation, where they're met by a blood-thirsty lumberjack who won't stop until he's killed them all. (E! Entertainment).

The Closer: The Complete Fifth Season (2009) Four-disc set with 15 episodes, $39.98. Extras: Gag reel, unaired scenes, "Seen at the Crime Location Map" featurette. (Warner)

The Crazies (2010) Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker. Extras: Commentary by director Breck Eisner; featurettes: "Behind the Scenes With Director Breck Eisner," "Paranormal Pandemics," "The George A. Romero Template," "Visual Effects in Motion" and "Make-up Mastermind: Rob Hall in Action"; "The Crazies Motion Comic Episodes 1 and 2"; "Storyboards: Building a Scene;behind the scenes photo gallery. Also available on Blu-ray Disc, which includes a digital copy. (Anchor Bay).

The Dive From Clausen's Pier (2004) Michelle Trachtenberg, Sean Maher, Will Estes. When an accident renders her fiance a quadriplegic, a young woman faces mounting pressures that ultimately cause her to start a new life in New York. A Lifetime Original Movie. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Don McKay (2009) Thomas Haden Church, Rachel Harker, Elisabeth Shue, Stephen Benson. Don McKay, a high school janitor who leaves his hometown after a tragedy, returns 25 years later to rekindle a romance with his old flame, who is dying, but the homecoming brings McKay more than he bargained for. Extras:Commentary by director Jake Goldberger and producer Jim Young, deleted scenes. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Image Entertainment).

The Eclipse (2009) Ciaran Hinds, Iben Hjele, Aidan Quinn. A teacher who believes his house is haunted meets up with a horror writer and a novelist in a quaint seaside Irish town. Extras: Behind the scenes featurette, deleted scenes. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

Eureka: Season 3.5 (2009) Two-disc set with nine episodes, $29.98. (Universal).

Everlasting Moments (2008) Swedish master Jan Troell ("The Emigrants," "The New Land") returns triumphantly with "Everlasting Moments," a vivid, heartrending story of a woman liberated through art at the beginning of the 20th century. Though poor and abused by her alcoholic husband, Maria Larsson (Maria Heiskanen) finds an outlet in photography, which opens up her world for the first time. With a burnished bronze tint that evokes faded photographs, and a broad empathetic palette, "Everlasting Moments" -- based on a true story -- is a miraculous tribute to the power of image making. Two-disc set with new high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Jan Troell. Extras: "Jan Troell's Magic Mirror," an hour-long documentary about Troell's life and career; short documentary on the making of "Everlasting Moments"; documentary featuring photographs by the real Maria Larsson, accompanied by narration telling her story"; a booklet featuring an essay by critic Armond White. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (The Criterion Collection).

Homeland (2009) Fran Kranz, Elize du Toit, Whip Hubley, Sue Cremin, John G. Conolly. Five peoples' fates become entwined when a Marine returns on furlough from Iraq. When no one greets him at the airport, he sets out to look for his father on the wild Northwest coast and his journey becomes harder and harder as it intersects with his un-met step-mother, a bitter First Gulf War veteran, and the British stewardess from his flight home. And then a body washes up on the beach. (Vanguard Cinema).

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover. Extras: Deleted scenes. Also available as a two-disc Blu-ray edition, which adds four featurettes: "Production: Acting Like Idiots," "Chevy Chase: The Nicest Guy in Hollywood," "Totally Radical Outfits: Dayna Pink," "Crispin Glover: One Armed Bellhop"; digital copy. (MGM).

How the Earth Was Made: The Complete Season Two (2009-10) Four-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.95. (A&E Home Entertainment).

It Came From Kuchar (2009) Documentary. Long before YouTube, there were the brilliantly insane, no-budget movies of underground, filmmaking twins George and Mike Kuchar. Creating stars out of their friends and family with just consumer-grade cameras, the teenage Kuchar brothers went from the 1960s New York City underground film scene of Andy Warhol and Kenneth Anger to become the twin maestros of B-movie glamour and sleaze. In a mesmerizing stream-of-consciousness style, "It Came From Kuchar" effortlessly weaves nostalgic footage of 1950s New York, a "greatest hits" collection of Kuchar clips and present day interviews of an all-star lineup of fans including John Waters, Buck Henry, Atom Egoyan, Wayne Wang, Bill Griffith, Gerard Malanga, B. Ruby Rich and Guy Maddin. Both outrageous and lovable, George and Mike will inspire you to pick up a camera and start making movies. $24.95. Extras: Behind-the-scenes footage, additional interviews, footage, secrets from the Kuchar Brothers' fascinating and bizarre world. (IndiePix Films).

The Last Big Thing (1996) Mark Ruffalo, Dan Zukovic, Susan Heimbinder. From a bland tract house on the outskirts of Los Angeles, Simon Geist (with occasional help from his platonic girlfriend Darla) wages war against all of modern American popular culture. Geist starts up a magazine called "The Next Big Thing," which he uses to confront and insult upcoming actors, comics, models and rock bands, but as his mysterious Underground Agenda escalates, will he become the "last big thing" or be co-opted by the very forces he is railing against? Extras: Sundance Festival Smash hit short "Conjurer of Monikers" by the film's director, Dan Zukovic. (Vanguard Cinema)

Leave It to Beaver: The Complete Series (1957-63) Thirty-seven disc set with 234 episodes, $199.99. Extras: Special commemorative booklet, special "value-added" exclusive replica of the original "Leave It to Beaver Money Maker Board Game," a full-disc of exclusive bonus features offering a nostalgic look at the television series from the cast and crew: "It's A Small World" rare pilot episode that started it all, "Forever the Beaver: The Cleavers Look Back," "Ken Osmond and Frank Bank Remember," "The Drum Major of the Toy Parade" conversation with theme song composer Dave Kahn, six episodes of Shokus Radio's "Stu's Show" featuring members of the cast, special film for the U.S. Treasury featuring the Cleavers, original network promos. (Shout! Factory).

Madeline's Great Adventures (1993) Six episodes from the animated series based on the popular children's books. Madeline and friends encounter their very own Arabian lamp, a visit from the Prince of Monaco, a band of pirates and even track down 40 charitable thieves. $12.99. (Shout! Factory).

The Mermaid Chair (2006) Kim Basinger, Alex Carter, Bruce Greenwood. A married woman (Basinger) falls in love with a Benedictine monk. A Lifetime Original Movie. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Nuclear Hurricane (2007) Jamie Luner, Jack Scalia, Erin Gray, Gil Gerard, Meredith McGeachie, Eriko Tamura. The world's most advanced nuclear reactor's core is in danger of a meltdown just as a gigantic hurricane bears down on it in this Syfy Channel disaster flick. (E1 Entertainment).

Once More With Feeling (2009) Chazz Palminteri, Maria Tucci, Drea de Matteo. A successful middle-aged psychiatrist who always wanted to be a singer but followed his immigrant parents' wishes instead, finds that old dreams die hard. (IFC Films).

The Other Woman (2008) Josie Bissett, Ted Whittall, MacKenzie Porter, Jason Priestley. A woman who stole her husband from his first wife now faces the same competition in the form of a younger woman who wants to steal him away from her. A Lifetime Original Movie. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Pagan Queen (2009 -- Czech Republic) Winter Ave Zoli, Csaba Luca, Lea Mornar, Vera Filatova, Veronika Bellova. Based on the folklore eternalized in the story of "The Crown of Vysehrad," a love story between Libuse, the Slavic mythological heroine of 8th century Bohemia, and queen of the Slaivc tribes, and Premysl, a simple farmer. (Vanguard Cinema).

Paranormal Cops (2010) Two-disc set with six episodes, $19.95. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) Dir.: Chris Columbus; Stars: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan, Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, Catherine Keener, Joe Pantoliano, Kevin McKidd. Extras: Five extended and deleted scenes, featurettes: "Discover Your Powers Quiz," "The Book Comes to Life." Also available on Blu-ray Disc, which adds five more deleted scenes, four featurettes: "Secrets of the Gods," "Inside Camp Half-Blood," "On Set With Brandon T. Jackson," "Meet the Demigods." (Fox)

Plain Truth (2004) Mariska Hargitay, Alison Pill. An unmarried 18 year-old Amish girl is charged with the murder of her infant child. A Lifetime Original Movie. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Pretty Bird (2009) Dir.: Paul Schneider; stars Billy Crudup, Paul Giamatti, Kristen Wiig, David Hornsby, Anna Camp. Based on the outrageous true story of three would-be entrepreneurs who set out to invent and market a personal rocket belt. As personalities clash and individual agendas emerge, the partnership begins to unravel in shockingly unexpected ways. A humorous look at the folly of human ambition and a parable about the dark side of the American Dream. Adapted from the book "The Rocketball Caper: A True Tale of Invention, Obsession and Murder" by Paul Brown. (Paramount).

The Real McCoys: Complete Season 4 (1960-61) Four-disc set with 39 episodes, $29.98. (Infinity Entertainment).

Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles (2010) Six-disc set of the first five seasons of the Internet series that takes place in the distant future where 10 soldiers battle for control of the least desirable piece of real estate in the known universe -- a box canyon in the middle of nowhere. $59.95. Extras: Commentary, special videos, deleted scenes, outtakes, hidden tracks, character profiles, alternate endings, PSAs, Documentary footage, rare clips from the RvB Archives. (New Video/Flatiron Film Company).

Return of the One-Armed Swordsman (1969 -- Hong Kong) Jimmy Wang Yu. When a marauding gang of swordsmen rampages a peaceful town, capturing every last sword master and demanding an unthinkable ransom, only one man will dare to fight back. (Vivendi/Weinstein/Dragon Dynasty).

St. Urbain's Horseman (2007) David Julian Hirsch, Elliott Gould, Andrea Martin. Canadian miniseries based on Mordecai Richler's post-WWII novel about Jake, a film director of modest success, a faithful husband, and a man in disgrace. His alter ego is his cousin Joey, a legend in their childhood neighborhood in Montreal. Nazi-hunter, adventurer, and hero of the Spanish Civil War, Joey is the avenging horseman of Jake's impotent dreams. When Jake becomes embroiled in a scandalous trial in London, he puts his own unadventurous life on trial as well, finding it desperately wanting as he steadfastly longs for the Horseman's glorious return. (E1 Entertainment).

Soul of a People: Writing America's Story (2009) The powerful story behind the controversial public assistance program the Federal Writers Project -- one of four arts programs in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration, established during the height of the Great depression -- that hired unemployed men and women to document America in books, guides and interviews. $19.98. (Infinity Entertainment Group).

Stolen (aka Stolen Lives) (2009) Josh Lucas, Jon Hamm, Jimmy Bennett, Rhona Mitra. A devoted cop haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his young son eight years earlier discovers the buried remains of a boy who was brutally murdered more than half a century ago in the same region, and he becomes obsessed with investigating the long-forgotten crime. (IFC Films).

String Theory (2009) Rico Anderson, Carmen Mormino, Janine Venable, Darion Basco, John Colton, Charles Cooper. This indie outing starts as a seemingly simple morality tale centered on the fate of a beat-up church in Santa Monica, but ends as a psychedelic meditation on the modern experience of God. The Altman-esque cast of characters who interact in the course of one day include a surfer strung-out on theoretical physics, a dissatisfied lawyer, a morally compromised TV minister, a homeless man, a twisted city councilman, a prostitute, two bookies and a mysterious mute boy. (Vanguard Cinema).

The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo The Complete Series (1985) Two-disc set with 13 episodes, $19.98. (Warner).

Warehouse 13: Season One (2009) Three-disc set with 12 episodes, $49.98. (Universal).

The Warlords (2007 -- Hong Kong) Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Wu Jing-Le. Set in the midst of war and political upheaval during the Taiping Rebellion of the 1860s, a general joins two bandits to fight off evil warlords, taking an oath to become "blood brothers," pledging loyalty to one another until death ... but things quickly turn sour and the three men become embroiled in a web of political deceit, and a love triangle involving a beautiful courtesan. Extras: Behind the scenes interviews. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

What if God Were the Sun (2007) Lacey Chabert, Gena Rowlands. A grieving nurse finds comfort and inspiration in her new assignment, where she meets a terminally ill woman with a quick with and strong faith. A Lifetime Original Movie. (A&E Home Entertainment).

The White Ribbon (2009 -- German) Dir.: Michael Haneke; Stars: Ulrich Tukur, Burghart Klaussner, Rainer Bock. Blu-ray Disc extras: "Making of The White Ribbon," "My Life" look at Michael Haneke's career, Cannes Film Festival premiere featurette, "An Interview With Michael Haneke." (Sony).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Southlands Survey Results Released Today

Tsawwassen Area Plan Southlands SurveyTonight, at the regular Delta city council meeting, Ipsos Reid will be on hand to present the results of the recent mail out survey regarding land use in Tsawwassen. The survey was mailed recently to every household and business in the area. Although the survey asked a number of questions regarding land use in Tsawwassen, the most polarizing question was the first one on allowing development on the historic farm known as the Southlands. Residents and business owners were given two options on the property. Choosing 'Option A' meant you desired no development whatsoever whereas choosing 'Option B' meant that you had to decide what percentage of the land you would allow residential/commercial development on.

It is expected that tonight's meeting is likely to draw a larger crowd then normal as many people have a lot riding on the outcome of this survey. Century Group president Sean Hodgins has been working tirelessly to change the minds of the people of South Delta to allow him to build 1900 homes on the property. Many of the minds he seeks to change belong to the same people who turned out in droves to stand against a similar development put forth in the late 80's by TDL Developments. The proponents of preserving the land zoning as agricultural will likely be on hand to ensure that the data is presented in a transparent manner with unaltered data.

No matter which side of the fence the people of Tsawwassen sit on, you can be guaranteed this will be the conversation on everybody's lips in the weeks to come.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shots Fired - Two Taken into Custody

Delta Police Department British Columbia BCSgt. Sharlene Brooks - June 24th 2010 at approximately 3:00 p.m. Delta Police responded to the 8000 block 118th St in North Delta after receiving several reports of possible shots fired.

On arrival Delta Police secured and cordoned off the area and identified the apartment unit that the shots had reportedly originated. With the assistance of the Integrated Municipal Emergency Response Team two individuals were into custody without incident. Once the two individuals were removed from the apartment and secured, police cleared the apartment unit to ensure no other persons were inside. It was quickly determined that the shots were from a pellet gun.

Police subsequently obtained a search warrant for the apartment unit in question and seized various
firearms parts.

No one was injured in this incident. The 27 yr old male and 17 yr old female were later released pending further investigation.

Delta Police responded swiftly and appropriately utilizing all available resources to ensure public safety.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Assault on Annieville Home

10345 River Road Annieville Delta BC Before Demolition
Before Demolition
This morning, residents of Annieville were woken by heavy machinery being moved in to demolish the 100+ year old house at 10345 River Road. Machinery pulled in early this morning and the house was completely gone by 8:40AM. Many local residents voiced their dissatisfaction with the way the vacant properties are being left by the government. "There are numerous properties that now belong to the Ministry of Transportation that have garbage dumped on them and down the riverbank," said one of the bystanders watching the demolition.

It's an easy to understand point of view. Driving through this part of historic Annieville one would think they were in a ghetto. Vacant homes sit empty with the siding half gone and doors boarded up, garbage litters the lots, and even the once busy Tide Water Pub is behind construction fencing after a recent fire shut it down.

10345 River Road Annieville Delta BC After Demolition
After Demolition
This isn't the first old home in the area that has been destroyed by the provincial government to make way for the South Fraser Perimeter Road, a 40 kilometer highway linking Deltaport to the Trans Canada Highway. There are 64 homes/buildings slated for demolition in Delta to make way for what most people in this neighbourhood see as an unnecessary highway.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Delta Police Concludes Investigation into Southlands On-line Survey

Delta Police Department British Columbia BCA two-month investigation into fraud charges involving the City of Delta’s on-line Southlands survey was completed on June 21, 2010. No evidence of fraudulent activity was found, confirming the source of error in collecting data for one of the most important decisions for the future of Tsawwassen was a lack of competence from Delta’s Staff.

The complaint was lodged with Delta Police Department following the admittance from Staff members that electronic submissions of the survey were changing responses from anti-development to pro-development. This error was one of many in a flawed process to gather information as to the future of the Southlands. The fact that a police complaint was launched highlights the extreme lack of trust the community has in its elected officials to accurately gather public opinion.

In response to the numerous problems and inaccuracies involving surveys collected regarding the future of the Southlands in Tsawwassen, Delta Mayor and Council agreed to discard the surveys and commission Ipsos Reid to redo the collection of data, at a cost of approximately $20,000 to the taxpayers.

The potential re-designation of the Southlands agricultural land to accommodate a housing development is by far the most contentious component of the process undertaken to revise the existing Tsawwassen Area Plan. Any redesignation will change the Official Community Plan and open up the Southlands for a 1900 unit housing development by Century Holdings.

This piece of farmland was the cause of the longest public hearing in Commonwealth history and a resident run plebiscite in 1989, which prevented a 2000 unit development that was proposed for the same property.

DVD Releases Tuesday June 22, 2010

This Weeks Pick:Green Zone Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass reteam ("The Bourne Supremacy," "The Bourne Ultimatum") on this action thriller set in the chaotic early days of the Iraqi War when no one could be trusted and every decision could detonate unforeseen consequences. During the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad in 2003, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Damon) and his team of Army inspectors were dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Rocketing from one booby-trapped and treacherous site to the next, the men search for deadly chemical agents but stumble instead upon an elaborate cover-up that inverts the purpose of their mission. Spun by operatives with intersecting agendas, Miller must hunt through covert and faulty intelligence hidden on foreign soil for answers that will either clear a rogue regime or escalate a war in an unstable region. And at this blistering time and in this combustible place, he will find the most elusive weapon of all is the truth. Vitals: Director: Paul Greengrass. Stars: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs, Amy Ryan, Khalid Abdalla. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 115 min., War Action Thriller, Box office gross: $34.218 million, Universal.

Avatar: The Last Airbender The Complete Book 1 Collector's Edition(2009) Seven-disc set, $57.99. Extras: Behind-the-scenes with the "Avatar" cast and crew, "Avatar" pilot episode, "The Making of Avatar -- Inside the Sound Studios," "The Making of Avatar -- Inside the Korean Animation Studios," "Avatar" documentary. (Paramount).

Bluebeard (2009 -- French) Dominique Thomas, Lola Creton. Based on Charles Perrault's grisly fairy tale, "Bluebeard" tells the story of young Marie-Catherine, child bride to an aristocratic ogre with a reputation for murdering his wives, who must employ all her cunning to outwit her husband and escape the most unpleasant of fates. Controversial director Catherine Breillat ("The Last Mistress," "Fat Girl") brings her personal touch to this classic tale, a favorite of good little French girls since the 1950s. (Strand Releasing).

The Children's War (2009) Documentary on the lost generation of Ugandan youth, the result of a 21-year civil war where a vicious rebel army leads a massive and coldly systematic child abduction machine. (Cinema Libre).

Circle of Pain (2010) Tony Schiena, Dean Cain, Ling Bai, Heath Herring. After an unfortunate mishap at the top of his game, mixed martials arts fighter Matt Chase retires for a life without glory, until he is forced back into the ring against the current undefeated champion, to kill or be killed. Extras: Behind the scenes interviews with the cast and crew; interviews with MMA fighters Heath Herring, Frank Mir and Roger Huerta; fight choreography on the set. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Lionsgate).

Close-Up (1990) Internationally revered Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has created some of the most inventive and transcendent cinema of the past 30 years, and "Close-up" is his most radical, brilliant work. This fiction-documentary hybrid uses a sensational real-life event -- the arrest of a young man on charges that he fraudulently impersonated well-known filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf -- as the basis for a stunning, multilayered investigation into movies, identity, artistic creation, and existence, in which the real people from the case play themselves. With its universal themes and fascinating narrative knots, "Close-up" continues to resonate with viewers around the world. Two-disc set with new, restored high-definition digital transfer. Extras: Commentary by Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and Jonathan Rosenbaum, authors of "Abbas Kiarostami"; "The Traveler," a notable early feature by director Abbas Kiarostami; "Close-up Long Shot," a 45-minute documentary on "Close-up's" central figure, Hossein Sabzian, five years after Kiarostami's film; "A Walk With Kiarostami"(2003), a 32-minute documentary portrait of the director by Iranian film professor Jamsheed Akram; new video interview with Kiarostami; a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Godfrey Cheshire. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (The Criterion Collection).

Death Race 2000 Special Edition (1975) David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone, Mary Woronov, Roberta Collins, Martin Kove. Extras: "David on Death Race": A brief look back from star David Carradine recorded in 2008; commentary by Roger Corman and Mary Woronov; commentary by assistant director Lewis Teague and editor Tina Hirsch; "Playing the Game: Looking Back at Death Race 2000"; "Ready to Wear": In-depth interview with costume designer Jane Ruhm on her inventive work for this film and other Roger Corman classics; "Designing Dystopia!": A detailed look at the film's futuristic landscapes and now-classic race cars with co-art director B.B. Neel, car designer James Powers and car constructor Dean Jeffries; "Start Your Engine!": How the world of "Death Race 2000" came to life, interview with original story creator Ib Melchior; "Killer Score": An all-new interview with composer Paul Chihara on the creation of the film's eclectic score, which was also his first feature film composition; Leonard Maltin interviews Roger Corman about "Death Race 2000"; collectible 12-page booklet. (Shout! Factory: Roger Corman's Cult Classics)

Entourage: The Complete Sixth Season (2009) Three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.98. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (HBO).

Fireball (2009) Ian Somerhalder, Lexa Doig, Aleks Paunovic. Former football star turned convict, Tyler "The Fuse" Draven, discovers in jail that he has the ability to create fire by mere thought alone, and he uses his new-found power to wreak havoc and get revenge on everyone that's ever done him wrong ... which means the entire world. (MTI Home Video).

Fuel (2009) Award-winning documentary film about alternative energy, a comprehensive and entertaining look at energy in America: a history of where we have been, our present predicament and a solution to our dependence on foreign oil. The film flows seamlessly through scientific data, facts, history and personal narrative, and like any good narrative, it has intrigue, conspiracy, greed ... and murder. Directed by Josh Tickell and featuring Barbara Boxer, Richard Branson, Sheryl Crow, Larry David, John Paul DeJoria, Larry Hagman, Woody Harrelson, Jim Hightower, Robert Kennedy Jr., Vinod Khosla, Willie Nelson, Julia Roberts and Neil Young. $24.95. Extras: "Sustainable Biodiesel Extra With HERObx (How agricultural waste can be turned into biofuels)"; "Building a Green Bottom Line With John Paul Dejoria (The greening of Paul Mitchell Systems and Patron Spirits Company)"; "How to Get 150MPG from Your Prius"; "How to Save Thousands Through Energy Efficiency"; director and creative team commentary; DVD-ROM content. (Cinema Libre: EarthNOW!)

The Good Guy (2010) Alexis Bledel, Anna Chlumsky, Andrew McCarthy, Bryan Greenberg, Scott Porter. Ambitious young Manhattanite and urban conservationist Beth (Bledel) wants it all: a good job, good friends, and a good guy to share the city with. Of course that last one is often the trickiest of all. Beth falls for Tommy (Porter), a sexy, young Wall Street hot-shot. But just as everything seems to be falling into place, complications arise in the form of Tommy's sensitive and handsome co-worker Daniel (Greenberg). Beth soon learns that the game of love in the big city is a lot like Wall Street -- high risk, high reward and everybody has an angle. Extras: Commentary by writer-director-actor Alexis Bledel. (Lionsgate).
Green Zone (2010) Dir.: Paul Greengrass. Stars: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs, Amy Ryan, Khalid Abdalla. Extras: "Matt Damon: Ready for Action" featurette, "Inside the Green Zone" behind-the-scenes featurette, commentary by Matt Damon and Director Paul Greengrass, deleted scenes, digital copy. Also available on two-disc Blu-ray, which adds BD-Live, pocket BLU app, social Blu and U-Control interactive features. (Universal).

Hung: The Complete First Season (2009) Three-disc set with 10 episodes, $39.98. Extras: Commentary, featurette. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (HBO).

The Last Station (2009) : Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti, Kerry Condon. Extras: Deleted scenes, "A Tribute to Christopher Plummer" featurette; commentary by Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren and director Michael Hoffman; outtake. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Sony).

Night Train to Munich (1940) A twisting, turning, cloak-and-dagger delight, "Night Train to Munich" is a gripping, occasionally comic confection from writers Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat (Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes") and director Carol Reed ("The Fallen Idol," "The Third Man"). Paced like an out-of-control locomotive, "Night Train" takes viewers on a World War II-era journey from Prague to England to the Swiss Alps, as Nazis pursue a Czech scientist and his daughter (Margaret Lockwood), who are being aided by a debonair British undercover agent, played by Rex Harrison. This captivating, long-overlooked adventure -- which also features "Casablanca's" Paul Henreid -- mixes comedy, romance, and thrills with enough skill and cleverness to give the master of suspense himself pause. New, restored high-definition digital transfer. Extras: New video conversation between film scholars Peter Evans and Bruce Babington about director Carol Reed, screenwriters Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, and the social and political climate in which "Night Train to Munich" was made; a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Philip Kemp. (The Criterion Collection).

Red Desert (1964) Michelangelo Antonioni's 1960s panoramas of contemporary alienation were decade-defining artistic events, and "Red Desert," his first color film, remains one of his greatest. This provocative look at the spiritual desolation of the technological age -- about a disaffected woman, brilliantly portrayed by Antonioni muse Monica Vitti ("L'avventura"), wandering through a bleak industrial landscape beset by power plants and environmental toxins, and tentatively flirting with her husband's co-worker, played by Richard Harris ("This Sporting Life") -- continues to exert force over viewers. With one startling, painterly composition after another -- of abandoned fishing cottages, electrical towers, overwhelming docked ships -- "Red Desert" creates a nearly apocalyptic image of its time, and confirms Antonioni as cinema's preeminent poet of the modern age. New, restored high-definition digital transfer. Extras: Commentary by Italian film scholar David Forgacs; archival video interviews with Antonioni and actress Monica Vitti; outtakes from the film's production; original theatrical trailer; a booklet featuring an essay by film historian Mark Le Fanu, an interview with Antonioni by Jean-Luc Godard, and a reprinted essay by Antonioni on his use of color. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (The Criterion Collection).

Remember Me (2010) Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin. A romantic drama about two new lovers: Tyler, whose parents have split in the wake of his brother's suicide, and Ally, who lives each day to the fullest since witnessing her mother's murder. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Summit Entertainment).

Riverworld (2010) Alan Cumming, Tahmoh Penikett, Laura Vandervoort, Peter Wingfield, Jeananne Goossen. Four-hour Syfy channel original movie. Matt, an American journalist, and his fiancee Jessie are killed in an explosion, but reawaken in a very unusual afterlife -- a mysterious planet with an endless river terrain. Everyone who has ever lived on Earth has been resurrected simultaneously in this strange new world. Separated from Jessie, Matt joins forces with an intrepid crew including a 13th century female warrior and riverboat captain Mark Twain to find her, all the while tracked by the watchful eye of a mysterious alien force. Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurette. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (RHI Entertainment/Vivendi Entertainment).

She's Out of My League (2010) Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence, T.J. Miller Extras: Deleted scenes, extended ending, Blooper Reel, "Devon's Dating Show" do's & don'ts guide to dating for guys, commentary by director Jim Field Smith. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Paramount).

A Star Is Born (1954) Dir.: George Cukor; Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford. Available as a two-disc book format with 40 pages of photographs, film history and more. Also available as a standard two-disc Deluxe Special Edition. Extras: Introduction; additional takes: "The Man That Got Away" -- Pink Dress, "The Man that Got Away" --Brown Dress #1, "The Man that Got Away" -- Brown Dress #2, "The Man that Got Away"-- Brown Dress #3, "The Man That Got Away" -- Brown Dress #4, "Here's What I'm Here For," "Lose That Long Face," "Trinidad Coconut Oil Shampoo," "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street," suicide scene; film effects reel; "A Report by Jack L. Warner" vintage featurette; "Huge Premiere Hails 'A Star Is Born' Newsreel Montage" vintage featurette; "'A Star Is Born" premiere in Cinemascope; Pantages premiere TV special vintage featurette; "A Star Is Bored" (1956 WB Cartoon); A Star Is Born trailers from 1937, 1954, 1976; Audio Vault: Oliver on the phone with the director discussing Norman -- Outtakes; Audio Vault: Norman and Esther on the roof of the Hotel Lancaster -- Outtakes; Audio Vault: 12/28/1942 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast with Judy Garland and Walter Pidgeon; Audio Vault: Judy Garland radio interview; Audio Vault: "Born in a Trunk"; Audio Vault: "Someone at Last" rehearsal; Audio Vault: "Someone at Last"; Audio Vault: "My Melancholy Baby"; Audio Vault: "Black Bottom"; Audio Vault: "Swanee." Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Warner).

Tom & Jerry Deluxe Anniversary Collection. Two-disc set with 30 classic cartoons, $26.99. Features seven shorts that became Oscar winners for Best Short Subject, Cartoons: "Yankee Doodle Mouse," "Mouse Trouble," "Quiet Please!," "The Cat Concerto," "The Little Orphan," "Johann Mouse" and "Two Mousketeers." Also included is an excerpt from the 1945 live-action film "Anchors Aweigh," in which Jerry performs a dance routine with Gene Kelly. Another featured excerpt is from the 1953 musical film" Dangerous When Wet," in which Tom and Jerry appear with Esther Williams in a dream sequence where they perform a synchronized swimming routine. (Warner).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Still No Suspect in Tsawwassen Shooting

Delta Police Investigate Drive By ShootingDelta Police still have no suspects in yesterdays midday shooting in Tsawwassen. Police were called to the 5200 block of 12th Avenue after receiving a 911 call of a single gunshot. Upon arrival the DPD cordoned off the block and began searching for suspects and canvassing the neighbourhood for witnesses. It is unknown whether the shot that penetrated the window of a house came from a group of people walking past or if it was a drive by shooting. Early reports support the latter.

Some residents of the area are in disbelief that this type of crime could take place in their neighbourhood. "I can't remember anything like this happening in Tsawwassen.", said one concerned neighbour. "It makes you worry. If this could happen here it could happen anywhere. I just really hope that this isn't a random act. That would really scare me."

The DPD responded quickly to the incident deploying K-9 units and patrol officers. A forensic team was brought in to examine the scene of the crime and gather evidence. Although no one was injured in the attack, the police are taking this investigation very seriously.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Delta Police Respond to Gunshot in Tsawwassen

Drive by shooting in Tsawwassen GunshotBy Elvis Glazier: Delta Police responded to calls of a gunshot on the 5200 block of 12 Avenue in Tsawwassen today. Early reports of a single gunshot had the police mobilized quickly as they converged upon the block to investigate the incident. They immediately taped off access to the block.

It was confirmed that a single shot was fired through a house window and no one was injured. It is yet unknown whether this was a targeted shooting or a random act. Needless to say, nearby residents are fearful as this is unheard of in this 'sleepy community'.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tsawwassen Area Plan Survey Due Today

Tsawwassen Area Plan Southlands SurveyToday is the last day for Tsawwassen residents and business owners to mail in the recent Ipsos Reid poll requesting feedback on the Tsawwassen Area Plan (TAP). After many attempts to gauge public opinion on the contentiousness plan the Corporation of Delta commissioned the market research company to distance themselves of any claims of collusion. Previous efforts by the city to collect data were plagued with one flaw after another, making some citizens doubt the city's motives.

The cover letter included in the mail-outs specifically states that the survey must be filled out and mailed by June 18, 2010. There was some confusion as to what this date meant at last night's TAP meeting. The example given was if an individual or business owner placed the letter in the mailbox Friday evening and it wasn't picked up until Monday, the letter may not arrive until the following week. Would the survey response still be valid?

Councilor Bruce McDonald stated that Ipsos Reid will be accepting surveys mailed beyond that date as there is no way to verify when a letter was actually placed in the mail but he didn't know when the actual cut off date was.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Imagine Southlands Fight Heating Up

Tsawwassen Southlands in Boundary Bay

"Imagine Southlands"

is the slogan that the Sean Hodgin owned Century Group is using to sell the residents of Tsawwassen on his latest development to build over 1900 homes on the land formerly known as the Spetifore Farmlands. Its a common theme these days as the citizen group calling themselves "Southlands the Facts" are also asking people to imagine Southlands. That is where the similarities end. The developer is trying to invoke images of his proposed "new-urbanism" housing development while the citizen group is hoping to convince their neighbours that "paving over fertile agricultural land" is something more of nightmares.

The war over the Tsawwassen Area Plan (TAP) is heating up. After a recent botched online survey that had peoples answers being switched from pro-agriculture to pro-development, the City of Delta contracted Ipsos Reid to conduct a mail out survey of Tsawwassen residents and businesses to gauge the community's opinion regarding this development. With the battle lines clearly drawn on the first page of the survey the Century Group has mobilized in an effort to change the overwhelming public consensus against their proposed rezoning of agricultural land.

The battle in the local newspapers has been won handily by Century. Their full page colour ads faced very little competition with Southlands the Facts garnering a small banner ad encouraging readers to go to their website

Even with their seemingly limitless advertising budget the developer is leaving nothing to chance. Residents of 'the Terrace' called the Delta Free Press complaining that Century Group representatives were canvassing their neighbourhoods asking them to fill out their surveys to allow for a 'little bit' of development. Objections to development were handled by Sean Hodgins himself as he accompanied the canvassers on their door-to-door campaign.

One of the key battle issues is the war of numbers. Both sides have differing statistics on key issues like population growth, traffic congestion, and even the number of dump trucks trips required to provide the fill required. Of course, the only number on Sean Hodgins mind is the 90% consensus against a similar development proposal brought forth by TDL in 1989 that sparked the longest running public hearing in Commonwealth history and if he can't overcome popular opinion he will have to sit back and "Imagine Southlands" a little longer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

DVD Releases Tuesday June 15, 2010

This Weeks Pick:Youth in Revolt Tale of a young man who gets in touch with his inner bad boy in order to win the girl of his dreams. Nick Twisp is a unique, but affable teen with a taste for the finer things in life -- like Sinatra and Fellini -- who falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful, free-spirited Sheeni Saunders while on a family vacation. But family, geography and jealous ex-lovers conspire to keep these two apart. With Sheeni's encouragement, Nick abandons his dull, predictable life and develops a rebellious alter ego: Francois. With his ascot, his moustache and his cigarette, Francois will stop at nothing to be with Sheeni, and leads Nick Twisp on a path of destruction with unpredictable consequences. Vitals: Director: Miguel Arteta. Stars: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Zach Galifianakis, Erik Knudsen, Adhir Kalyan, Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Ari Graynor, Ray Liotta, M. Emmet Walsh. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 90 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $15.281 million, The Weinstein Co./Sony.

Air Bud: World Pup: Special Edition (2000) Kevin Zegers, Dale Midkiff, David Glyn-Jones, Caitlin Wachs. After meeting Molly and having puppies, the hotshot hound is in for an all-new challenge as he joins his teenage owner Josh on the field in pursuit of the state soccer championship. Extras: "The Buddies Sports Channel: Soccer Edition," "Making of Air Bud World Pup" featurette, in-pack "Air Bud" sport cinch bag. (Disney).

American Dad! Volume 5 (2009-10) Three-disc set with 14 episodes, $39.98. Extras: Cast and crew commentary on each episode, uncensored audio on select episodes, deleted scenes, "Power Hour Drinking Game." (Fox).

Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 7 (2009-10) Single disc with 11 episodes of the hit animated Adult Swim series, $29.98. (Warner).

The Best Years: The Complete Second Season (2009) Two-disc set with 13 episodes, $24.98. (E1 Entertainment).

Big Bird, Little Bird (2010) Features 13 soothing songs by singer-songwriter Sara Hickman for children ages newborn to five, brought to life through bright, bold computer animation. Based on her award-winning CD, "Newborn." $14.95. Extras: Fourteen short parenting tips from Hickman, a former certified parenting instructor.

The Book of Eli (2010) Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals, Evan Jones. Extras: "The Lost Tales," "Starting Over," "Eli's Journey," deleted scenes. Also available in a Blu-ray Combo Pack. (Warner).

Cartoon Network Hall of Fame Johnny Bravo: Season One (1997) Two-disc set with 13 episodes, $24.98. Extras: "Bringing Up Bravo" documentary, commentary, Johnny Bravo original pencil tests, Seth McFarlane audio track. (Warner).

Collapse (2009) Documentary on Michael Ruppert, a police officer turned independent reporter who predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter five years ago when he was a cry in the wilderness about peak oil, the real estate and credit bubbles. Now, Ruppert warns of a new meltdown, one rooted in economics, covert U.S. policies and a seemingly inevitable oil shortage that may lead us all toward unprecedented global disaster. Is he a prophet who can clearly see America's terrifying future, or a conspiracy theorist fueled by fear and paranoia? "It's not that Bernie Madoff is a pyramid scheme. The whole economy is a pyramid scheme" -- Ruppert. $19.98. (MPI Media).

Control Alt Delete (2009) Tyler Labine, Sonja Bennett, Alisen Down, Laura Bertram. A young man develops a sexual fetish for his computer. (E1 Entertainment).

Divided Heaven (1964 -- German) Based on Christa Wolf's internationally acclaimed novel and criticized in the GDR (East Germany) for questioning the construction of the Wall, "Divided Heaven" was made during a brief cultural thaw in the early 1960s. Strongly influenced by French Nouvelle Vague cinema, this classic film directed by the legendary Konrad Wolf was praised by critics as one of Germany's 100 most important films. After a breakdown, Rita returns to her childhood village and, as she recovers, she remembers the past two years: her love for the chemist Manfred, 10 years her senior; his enthusiasm about his new chemical process, which turned to bitter disappointment in the face of rejection; his escape to West Berlin a few weeks before the Wall was built; and his hope that she would follow him. (First Run features).

Everwood: The Complete Third Season (2004-05) Five-disc set with 22 episodes,$39.98. Extras: Unaired scenes, bloopers. (Warner). Family Guy: Volume 8 (2008-10) Three--disc set with 15 episodes from the seventh and eighth seasons, $49.98. Extras: Commentary on every episode, uncensored audio on select episodes, deleted scenes, "Family Guy Karaoke," more. (Fox).

HawthoRNe: The Complete First Season (2009) Three-disc set with 10 episodes, $34.95. Extras: Seven featurettes: "All in a Day's Work: A Conversation With Jada Pinkett Smith," "Inside Richmond Trinity," "Get to Know the Cast of HawthoRNe," "HawthoRNe Medical School," "Male Nurses," "Shooting a Scene: Visual Effects," "HawthoRNe's Heroes." (Sony).

Leave It to Beaver: Season Three (1959-60) Six-disc set with 39 episodes, $39.97. Extras: Interview with Jerry Mathers and Frank Bank from Shokus Internet Radio's "Stu's Show." (Shout! Factory)

Lewis Black: Stark Raving Black (2010) New comedy special taped in Detroit in August 2009, featuring the inimitable rantings and ravings from the king of the grumpy old men. $16.99. Extras: "Basic Black" documentary. (Paramount).

MacGyver: The TV Movies. Richard Dean Anderson, Sophie Ward, Brian Blessed, Beatie Edney, Peter Egan. Two TV movies that followed the series finale: "MacGyver -- The Lost Treasure of Atlantis" and "MacGyver -- Trail to Doomsday." $19.95. (CBS/Paramount).

Mary and Max (2009) Voices of Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana, Barry Humphries, Bethany Whitmore. Writer-director Adam Elliot brings the unique stop-motion style he forged in his Academy Award-winning short "Harvie Krumpet" to a feature about the unlikeliest of friendships. In 1970s suburban Melbourne, lonely 8-year-old Mary Daisy Dinkle, the only child of an alcoholic mother and a distant father, picks a name at random out of a Manhattan phone book and writes to him. The recipient is Max Jerry Horovitz, an obese 44-year-old single man who, despite suffering from Asperger's syndrome, responds in kind. Thus begins a strange yet mutually supportive -- and at times strained -- pen-pal relationship that spans 20 years and two continents and touches on issues and concerns ranging from autism and alcoholism to taxidermy, kleptomania, religion, agoraphobia and where babies corne from. Extras: "Harvie Krumpet." Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (IFC/MPI Media Group).

Max & Ruby: A Visit with Grandma (2010) Four new episodes of the Nick series, in which Max & Ruby go on an awesome treasure hunt, make "mudpies" and perform their very own recital in the backyard. The animated comedy series is based on the children's books by Rosemary Wells, and each episode centers on Max, a determined 3-year-old bunny, and his big sister, Ruby, a smart, goal-oriented 7-year-old. The show offers an empowering message for children by showing Max and Ruby playing together and resolving their differences in ways that are respectful and supportive. $16.99. (Paramount).

Mystery Train (1989) Dir.: Jim Jarmusch; Masatoshi Nagase, Youki Kudoh, Nicoletta Braschi, Elizabeth Bracco, Joe Strummer, Rick Aviles, Steve Buscemi, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Royale Johnson, Winston Hoffman. Aloof teenage Japanese tourists, a frazzled Italian widow, and a disgruntled British immigrant all converge in the city of dreams -- which, in "Mystery Train," from Jim Jarmusch, is Memphis. Made with its director's customary precision and wit, "Mystery Train" is a triptych of stories that pay playful tribute to the home of Stax Records, Sun Studio, Graceland, Carl Perkins, and, of course, the King himself, who presides over the film like a spirit. "Mystery Train" is one of Jarmusch's very best movies, a boozy and beautiful pilgrimage to an iconic American ghost town and a paean to the music it gave the world. New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch. Extras: Q&A with Jarmusch, in which he responds to questions sent in by fans; original documentary on "Mystery Train's" locations and Memphis's rich social and musical history; on-set photos by Masayoshi Sukita, and behind-the-scenes photos; a booklet featuring essays by writers Peter Guralnick and Dennis Lim, as well as a collectible poster. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (The Criterion Collection).

The Real Story: Escape From Alcatraz (2009) Explores the fascinating true tale behind one of history's most infamous prison breaks, in which three inmates escaped the island prison at Alcatraz. Features interviews with key individuals, including Darwin Coon, the inmate who assisted them, the wardens who discovered them missing and the FBI agents who tried to track them down. $12.98. (Infinity Entertainment Group).

Sanctuary: The Complete Second Season (2009-10) Four-disc set with 13 episodes, $44.98. Extras: Commentaries on all 13 episodes with cast and crew including Amanda Tapping, creator Damian Kindler, director Martin Wood; multiple making-of featurettes; a "Robin Dunne Video Diary"; outtakes/bloopers reel; international promos/trailers. Also available on Blu-ray Disc, which adds an interactive green screen on select episodes. (E1 Entertainment).

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume 4 (2010) Three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.99. (Disney).

Sex Positive (2008) Documentary explores the life of Richard Berkowitz, a revolutionary gay sex worker turned AIDS activist in the 1980s, whose incomparable contribution to safe sex has never been aptly credited. (E1 Entertainment).

Showgirls: 15th Anniversary Sinsational Edition (1995) Dir.: Paul Verhoven; Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, Gina Gershon, Glenn Plummer, Robert Davi, Alan Rachins. Two-disc set includes Blu-ray and standard DVD. Extras: "Pole Dancing: Finding Your Inner Stripper," "Lap Dance Tutorial Featuring the World-Famous Girls of Scores," "The Greatest Movie Ever Made: A Commentary by David Schmader," "Showgirls Fact-Up Trivia," "A Showgirls Diary." (MGM).

Sister's Keeper (2007) Kent Faulcon, Denise Boutte, Eric Roberts. A hit man sent to a small Southern town to eliminate a beautiful English teacher is mistaken for her long-lost brother, and he finds himself drawn into her frank and colorful family, causing him to have to choose between executing what should be an easy murder-for-hire and trying to solve the mystery of who would want the innocent woman dead. (MTI Home Video).

When in Rome (2010) Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Anjelica Huston, Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Alexis Dziena, Kate Micucci, Peggy Lipton, Luca Calvani. Extras: "Kerplunk! Bloopers From Rome," deleted scenes, music videos. Also available on Blu-ray Disc, which adds alternate opening and ending, "Crazy Casanovas: Mischief From the Set," extended scenes, additional deleted scenes. (Disney).

Yo Gabba Gabba!: Clubhouse (2010) Join Muno, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee and Plex as they build an awesome clubhouse; travel through the jungle on a wild adventure and play with silly animals in the all-new Nickelodeon release featuring four episodes. Includes performances by musical guests Erykah Badu, The Killers, Jimmy Eat World and more. $16.99. (Paramount).

Youth in Revolt (2010) Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Zach Galifianakis, Erik Knudsen, Adhir Kalyan, Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Ari Graynor, Ray Liotta, M. Emmet Walsh. Extras: Commentary by director Miguel Arteta and Michael Cera, deleted scenes, deleted and extended animated sequences, audition footage. Also available on Blu-ray Disc, which adds movieIQ+sync BD-LIVE. (The Weinstein Co./Sony).

Monday, June 14, 2010

What Would Elvis Do? Question 1

What Would Elvis Do?I recently asked readers to send in their questions so I could answer them without any bias or double speak. Just clear answers to whatever is on your mind. That way when your having troubles forming an opinion you can always ask, "What Would Elvis Do?"

The first questions I received was actually a two-parter. So for my inaugural question I'm doing double duty.

----- begin email


I have received my Ipsos Reid survey regarding the Tsawwassen Area Plan in the mail and I know that I am going to choose 'Option A' because I don't wish to see any destruction of farmland. That was an easy choice to make with the way developers run roughshod over this city's council. When I Imagine Southlands I think of it in much the same way as it is now, with perhaps a little more farming. My question doesn't concern this portion of the survey. In fact, my question isn't a question at all as I have two questions.

My first question is:

Should we allow large residential lots to be subdivided?

and my second question is:

What do you think building heights should be in the town core?

From the Village

--- end email


These are great questions. Probably better than the Southlands dilemna because it's not so black and white.

Should we allow large residential lots to be subdivided?

In a word, yes. Tsawwassen is surrounded by water, agricultural land, and an international border. If we discount development on agricultural land (something I would do if I were the master of the universe) we need to make room for the controlled growth that Tsawwassen will require over the next 25 years. Retrofitting current neighbourhoods is a great way of bringing in new blood to the community without the devastating effects of mass development. The different developeprs would also bring in different styles of homes which adds to the flavour of the community.

What do you think building heights should be in the town core?

This question is tougher in that it doesn't deal with the development on questionable lands. Limits on building heights, particularly high-rises, effects the aesthetics of the town center. I personally wouldn't like to see a high-rise in the town center but I can understand the desire to have one. Higher densities would be achieved in a very small footprint. Residents would have great pedestrian access to local amenities and the view from higher suites would be second to none. My objection is that a high-rise changes Tsawwassen into an urban center and I would like to preserve the rural aesthetic. On my survey I have chosen to keep the height limits as is but it would be hard for me to oppose changing the limits if it meant preserving the Southlands and the rest of the agricultural land in Delta.

And that is "What Elvis Would Do!"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

DVD Releases Tuesday June 8, 2010

The A-Team
The A-Team: The Complete Series -- Limited Edition Box Set (1983-87) Twenty-five disc set, in an A-Team Truck package, $149.98. (Universal).

American Pickers: The Complete First Season (2010) Two-disc set with 12 episodes, $29.95. Extras: Featurettes. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Before and After Stonewall 25th Anniversary Edition.Two-disc set with documentaries "Before Stonewall" (1984) and "After Stonewall" (1999). On June 28, 1969, the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, a mafia-run gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, leading to three nights of rioting by the city's gay community, which lead to organizations that helped create the gay pride movement. "Before" explores the fascinating and unforgettable history of homosexuality in America (narrated by Rita Mae Brown); "After" chronicles lesbian and gay life from the 1969 Stonewall riots to the new century (narrated by Melissa Etheridge). $39.95. (First Run Features).

Caddyshack (1980) Dir.: Harold Ramis; Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Ted Knight, Rodney Dangerfield, Cindy Morgan, Michael O'Keefe. Extras: "Caddyshack: The 19th Hole" retrospective documentary. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Warner).

The Cry of the Owl (2009) Paddy Considine, Julia Stiles Based on the novel by acclaimed author and suspense master Patricia Highsmith ("The Talented Mr. Ripley," "Strangers on a Train"), this psychological thriller tells the story of a man trying to recover from a messy divorce by seeking solace in a small town, where he becomes fascinated by the apparent domestic bliss of a young woman, who he ends up having a realtionship with. When the woman's boyfriend goes missing, he becomes the number one suspect in a murder investigation, leaving him to wonder if she may not be all that she seems. (Paramount).

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Seventh Season (2009) Two-disc set with 10 episodes, $39.98. (HBO)

Family Matters: The Complete First Season (1989-90) Three-disc set with 22 episodes, $29.98. (Warner).

The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It (2010) "MADtv" cast alumnus Bryan Callen and Noureen DeWulf star in a raunchy farce featuring favorite characters from Judd Apatow's hit films. Extras: "The Making of The 41-Year-Old-Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It," "The Business of Gags," "Being Jonah Hill," "Bryan Callen: Internet Sex Deity," "The Teaser: How They Got the Movie Made." (Fox).

From Paris With Love (2010) John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak, Richard Durden, Yin Bing, Amber Rose Revah, Eric Godon, Francois Bredon, Chems Dahmani, Sami Darr. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Lionsgate).

Ghostwriter: Season One (2009) Five-disc set with 34 episodes of the PBS/Sesame Street kids series, $39.97. Extras: Twelve-page casebook with blank notebook area for clues, "Ghostwriter" interactive trivia game. (Shout! Factory).

Hot Wheels Battle Force 5: Season 1 Volume 2 (2009) Six episodes, $14.97. (Warner).

iCarly: iSaved Your Life (2010) Features two iCarly TV specials plus three additional episodes: "iSaved Your Life," "iQuit iCarly," "iThink They Kissed," "iTwins" and "iMove Out." For kids 2-11, $16.99. Extras: Behind-the-scenes vignettes. (Nickelodeon/Paramount)

The Illusionist (2006) Ed Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell. Blu-ray + DVD combo. Extras: Commentary by writer-director Neil Burger, "The Making of The Illusionist" featurette, "Jessica Biel on The Illusionist" featurette. (Fox).

My Lai (2010) American Experience returns to 1968 and the Vietnamese village of My Lai, where the blood of nearly 500 civilians was spilled at the hands of American soldiers. The infamous massacre is revisited, featuring new footage, uncovered documentation and compelling and exclusive interviews from soldiers who were on the ground during the event. $24.99. (PBS).

Nip/Tuck: The Sixth and Final Season (2009-10) Five-disc set with 19 episodes, $59.98. Extras: "Tell Me What You Don't Like About Yourself -- The Psychology" featurette that examines new trends in plastic surgery and explores why people become addicts to it. (Warner).

Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) (2009) Historic performance by members of the Monty Python troupe celebrating their 40th Anniversary with a song oratorio inspired by the cult film "The Life of Brian" at London's Royal Albert Hall. The performance features a rare on-stage reunion of Python troupe members Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam. $24.96. Extras: "The Road to the Albert Hall" behind-the-scenes-documentary; "Showtime!" backstage featurette; "The Bright Side" featurette on the surprisingly upbeat comedy classic song; six sing-a-long songs including "You're the One," "Take Us Home" and "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Sony).

The Pluto Files (2010) Details the efforts of astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is at the head of the team behind the recent uproar over Pluto's status. Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has held a warm place in the public imagination. So, when the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium stopped calling Pluto a planet, director Neil deGrasse Tyson found himself at the center of a firestorm -- led by angry, Pluto-loving elementary school students. $24.99. (PBS).

Power Kids (2009 -- Thailand) Nantawooti Boonrapsap, Sasisa Jindamanee, Johnny Nguyen. Five friends who hang out at a Muay Thai training school have to band together to help one of their own, who needs a heart transplant. One becomes available, but it's locked inside a hospital overrun by terrorists, so the friends go after the bad guys to rescue the heart. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

The Quake (2009) PBS Frontline documentary that looks at the effects of the January 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. $24.99. (PBS).

Shinjuku Incident (2009 -- Hong Kong) Jackie Chan. A Chinese laborer comes to Japan for a better life and gets involved with the Japanese mob. Extras: Commentary, "Say Hello to the Bad Guy: Up Close with Jackie Chan" featurette. (Sony).

Shaun the Sheep: One Giant Leap for Lambkind (2010) Six-episode collection features Unidentified Farm Objects and paranormal sightings. $14.98. Extras: Sing-along, game. (HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate).

Shutter Island (2010) Dir.: Martin Scorsese; Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley, Ted Levine, John Carroll Lynch. Blu-ray Disc extras: "Behind the Shutters" making-of featurette, "Into the Lighthouse" featurette that discusses the historical landscape of psychiatric therapies during the 1950s through interviews with cast and crew. (Paramount).

Sorority Girls 3D (2010) Beverly Lynne, Jassie James, Penny Flame, Angela Stone. Exploitation film about the shenanigans that go on at a sorority house as pledges will do just about anyone to get accepted. In 3D and standard versions, with 3D glasses. (Infinity Entertainment).

Starstruck (2010) Sterling Knight, Danielle Campbell, Maggie Castle, Brandon Mychal Smith, Chelsea Staub. Disney Channel Original Movie about two sisters sightseeing in L.A. whose chance meeting with a hot young pop star sets off a series of comic adventures. Available as a single-disc DVD and two-disc extended edition that includes a soundtrack CD as well as three music videos. (Disney).

Tales of the Gold Monkey: The Complete Series (1982-83) Six-disc collector's box set with all 20 action-packed episodes of the TV series that became a hit following the success of the Indiana Jones films: Set in 1938, the adventure series chronicled a young American adventurer and his ragtag group of friends as they become involved in death-defying hi-jinx, transporting people-on-the-run in a well-worn Grumman Goose seaplane. Stars Stephen Collins, Caitlin O'Heaney, Roddy McDowall and Jeff Mackay. Extras: Pilot episode, new 36 Minute "making-of" documentary, commentaries, photo gallery, series synopsis and biographies, artifacts gallery, 24-page collector's booklet. $49.97. (Fabulous Films/Shout! Factory).

TCM Spotlight: Charlie Chan Collection. Four-disc set with four inscrutable mysteries with one of the world's greatest sleuths, Charlie Chan: "Dark Alibi" (1946), "Dangerous Money" (1946) and "The Trap" (1946), starring Sidney Toler; and "The Chinese Ring" (1947), starring Roland Winters; $39.92.

Thomas & Friends: The Greatest Stories (2010) Two-disc set with 20 of the best "Thomas & Friends" episodes, including the first-ever episode; spans the years with conductors George Carlin, Ringo Starr, Alec Baldwin and Michael Brandon. $16.98. Extras: "Create Your Own Thomas Story," "How Did Thomas Meets His friends?" trivia game, storybook adventure game, "Thomas Saves the Day" enhanced read-along, four sing-along karaoke videos, four music videos. (HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate).

Toe to Toe (2009) Louisa Krause, Sonequa Martin. The story of the friendship and rivalry between lacrosse mates Tosha and Jesse, two senior girls at a competitive Washington, D.C. prep school with different backgrounds: Tosha is a black scholarship student from Anacostia, one of Washington's poorest areas, while Jesse is a troubled and promiscuous white girl from the ritzy suburbs of Maryland. The two forge a close and genuine bond on the field, but their friendship unravels as they navigate through race and class related obstacles. When Jesse and Tosha discover that they've both been dating the same boy, the conflict becomes explosive. (Strand Releasing).

Word Is Out (2009) "Word Is Out" debuted in 1977 as the first feature-length documentary about lesbian and gay identity made by gay filmmakers (The Mariposa Film Group). After conducting 140 interviews, the filmmakers selected 26 people of various lifestyles, races, ages and backgrounds. What they achieved was a cornerstone in Gay Rights. The film quickly became a landmark in cinema, but time had taken its toll on the existing prints and the film was rarely seen. The Outfest Legacy Project and UCLA Film & Television Archive restored "Word Is Out" with the generous contribution of the David Bohnett Foundation, creating a high-definition video for this DVD premiere. The release celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first Gay Pride Marches and follows its premiere at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival and the theatrical tour around the world earlier this year. Extras: "Word Is Out, Then and Now: Thirty Years Later"; "Afterthoughts" by the filmmakers and participants;, history of The Mariposa Film Group; "Remembering Peter Adair," the film's producer and main force behind the collective; "DVD Executive Producer: David Bohnett," the man behind the film's restoration and DVD release; Outfest Legacy Project PSA.(Milliarium Zero/Milestone Film).

Z Rock: Season 2 (2009) Single-disc with 10 episodes, $19.97. (Anchor Bay).