Monthly Archives: August 2016

Surrey MMA fighter Jeremy Kennedy signs with the UFC

Jeremy "JBC" Kennedy will make his UFC debut at Rogers Arena on August 27. Photo by Rafferty Baker/CBC.

Jeremy “JBC” Kennedy will make his UFC debut at Rogers Arena on August 27. Photo by Rafferty Baker/CBC.

When Jeremy Kennedy found out the Ultimate Fighting Championship would be holding an event in Vancouver, he started spending a lot more time in the gym.

The mixed martial arts fighter based in Surrey, B.C., had a hunch there might be a spot for him in the show.

“I was hoping to get picked up the whole time,” said Kennedy, 23. “I was training without a fight being booked.”

A few weeks later, he got the offer he’d been hoping for: a contract with the UFC, with a spot on the fight league’s upcoming event at Rogers Arena.

“I got a call from my manager — he said there’s an opportunity [to fight in the UFC],” said Kennedy, who trains at Revolution MMA in Langley.

But there were some conditions to the offer.

“I have to jump up a weight class,” he said. “But if the UFC calls, you don’t second guess. You just jump all over it.”

Read the full story on CBC News

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Pour some kibble on me: deaf shepherd finds happy home

Evie, the husky-shepherd, has one blue and one brown eye, but can see just fine. Photo by Rafferty Baker/CBC.

Evie, the husky-shepherd, has one blue and one brown eye, but can see just fine. Photo by Rafferty Baker/CBC.

When Marisa Nielsen and her fiancé Desmond Kumar first laid their eyes on Evie, a husky-shepherd puppy living at the B.C. SPCA, they could tell right away she was different.

For one, her white, perky ears didn’t seem to hear a lick of sound.

“She was asleep,” said Nielsen. “It was really funny because it was so noisy — there was thumping going on. They were cleaning. There was dogs barking. There was traffic noises coming from outside, and she was sleeping like she was in the middle of nowhere.”

Evie was given to the SPCA in East Vancouver by her previous owners, after they found out she was hearing impaired. She was only a few weeks old — and a perfect fit for the future newlyweds.

“We never planned on adopting when we were going into the SPCA,” said Nielsen. “But when we saw that Evie was deaf … it seemed like is was meant to be.”

Nielsen grew up with deaf parents, who taught her sign language and kept her engaged with the deaf community. With her experience, she knew that she could offer Evie the support she needed — and that her parents would approve of the new family member.

Read the full story on CBC News


Greyhaven Bird Sanctuary struggling to care for over 500 relocated parrots

Greyhaven Bird Sanctuary is overwhelmed after bringing in more than 500 relocated exotic birds from the defunct World Parrot Refuge. Photo by Rafferty Baker/CBC.

Greyhaven Bird Sanctuary is overwhelmed after bringing in more than 500 relocated exotic birds from the defunct World Parrot Refuge. Photo by Rafferty Baker/CBC.

A mass parrot relocation has refuge workers in Metro Vancouver struggling to keep up with the new influx of birds.

Workers at the Greyhaven Bird Sanctuary say they are overwhelmed after taking on the “daunting task” of caring for more than 500 exotic birds, including parrots, cockatoos and amazons.

The birds were relocated from the now-defunct World Parrot Refuge after its owner passed away earlier this year.

Staff at Greyhaven are working around the clock to provide care for the birds. Among them is adoptions director Jenny Tamas, whose home is being used as a sanctuary, alongside two other houses in Metro Vancouver.

They also run a shelter inside an old SPCA building in Nanaimo.

“It’s a desperate situation for a lot of these birds,” Tamas said. “I just personally picked up four bags of feed which was $181 wholesale. And … those four bags of feed will not feed these birds for more than two days.”

Read the full article on CBC News


Lease loophole lets owners jack up rent in West End rental tower, tenants say

Residents of The Lauren are facing sharp rental increases due to legal 'loophole' that's being utilized by Westbank Corp., says resident. Photo by Rafferty Baker/CBC.

Residents of The Lauren are facing sharp rental increases due to legal ‘loophole’ that’s being utilized by Westbank Corp., says resident. Photo by Rafferty Baker/CBC.

Tenants of a newly-built Vancouver rental tower are facing sharp annual rent increases, and they say owners are taking advantage of a legal loophole to jack up the prices.

Many residents of The Lauren, a rental-only building owned by Westbank Corp. in Vancouver’s West End, are being notified that their rent is being raised at a rate higher than what’s allowed in Residential Tenancy Regulation, according to the tenants.

But the hike is completely legal — because they signed fixed-term leases with move-out clauses.

Lindsie Arbeiter, one of the original residents of the building since it opened its doors in 2014, has seen her rent go up eight per cent — from $1,550 to $1,675 — over the last two years. She says the hikes are slowly forcing her out of her apartment.

“I feel like Westbank doesn’t have an incentive to keep the current residents there, because there’s so many people that want to live in our building,” said Arbeiter. “I’m sure there’s a ton of people willing to pay the rent if we can’t.”

Read the full article on CBC News