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Year of rats, robbery, pipes and Palmer

The Tall Ships dream sank, a Paralympian was in court and Cummins stepped down


- Developers Onni pulled the plug on their plans to build highrises in Steveston amid stiff opposition from the local community.

- A murder-suicide is suspected after a middle-aged Richmond couple is found dead in a local hotel room. Staff at the Hampton Inn on Bridgeport Road, concerned about the wellbeing of the couple, called the police after the pair failed to check out.

- Much-loved Richmond educator and McNair secondary vice-principal Lorne Bodin, 50, lost his battle with stomach cancer.

- The City of Richmond pulled out of the Tall Ships 2011 Festival due to fears over lack of tall ships and corporate sponsorship. In the summer, it successfully hosted, instead, a smaller Ships to Shore Festival.

- A cruel thief pretended to be an electrician to dupe his way into a blind man's home and steal his precious collection of martial arts knives.


- B.C. Liberal leadership candidate George Abbott swept through Richmond during his unsuccessful campaign to lead the party.

- Winterfest 2011 took place at the oval, stirring memories of the 2010 Games. Olympic athletes, including Richmond's own Alexa Loo and Vanoc CEO John Furlong, attended the event.

- Disgraced Paralympic curler Jim Armstrong was fined $30,000 for his part in a counterfeit Viagra smuggling operation over the U.S. border. His son, Greg, didn't get off so lightly, copping a one year jail term.

- A small 2.9 magnitude earthquake was felt in some parts of Richmond, with the epicenter gauged at 38 kilometres southwest of the city and 19 kilometres underground.

- The Richmond News published an entire edition dedicated to the arts community in the city.

- Richmond School Board was surprised to find a $4 million surplus in its budget.


- Budget cuts were blamed for a rat problem at James Whiteside elementary. A cut to janitorial services was one of the reasons put forward for the rodents causing issues at the school.

- Veteran MP John Cummins finally admitted to the worst kept secret in B.C. politics: he's stepping down from his Ottawa job. Cummins is now leader of the B.C. Conservatives.

- A massage parlour called the Water Club was shut down for 60 days after continually flouting the city's bylaws regarding body-rub studios. Naked employees and customers were caught in compromising positions by inspectors.

- Palmer secondary's Griffins basketball won the provincial championship with a 71-63 win over

Vancouver College's Fighting Irish.

- The federal election campaign kicked off in Richmond with a spat between rivals Joe Peschisolido and Alice Wong over signage. Wong reported her rival to the city for illegally putting up his signs on city land.


- The Richmond News pulled the leg of its readers to kick the month off, reporting that a new French Canadian political party had launched in the city, demanding more French language on road signs on No. 3 Road.

- The City of Richmond demanded that a consortium of airlines - which wants to pump jet fuel via pipeline through the city to YVR - divert the pipeline route up Highway 99.

?After being surveyed by the city if they want to spend tax dollars to keep one of the Biennale public art installations, a whopping 75 per cent of Richmondites who took part rejected the notion.

- A "Chinese-only" need apply rental advert on Craigslist sparked an angry reaction from a prospective Richmond renter. The woman who placed the ad claimed it was worded to suit the apartment owner, who only speaks Chinese.

- Protest group VAPOR (Vancouver Airport Pipeline Opposition for Richmond) is launched in the backyard of local activist Carol Day. The organization is dedicated in halting the creation of a jet fuel off-loading terminal on the south arm of the Fraser River and a fuel pipeline through the city to YVR.

- VAFFC - the consortium of airlines behind the proposal to barge jet fuel up the Fraser River and then pipe it through Richmond to YVR - asked for the provincial environmental review process into its project to be halted. so it can look into re-routing the pipeline up Highway 99 as opposed to through residential Richmond.


- The Conservative Party's Alice Wong buried her rivals to record a landslide victory in the federal election and retain her seat in Parliament. Newcomer Kerry-Lynne Findlay also enjoys a facile success in the Delta-Richmond East riding for the Tories.

- A massive fire reduced the Remy development construction site to a smouldering ruin. The project's all-wooden design - a first for its size in B.C. - was not thought to be to blame for the speed and extent of the blaze.

- Soccer mom Debbie Judd - accused of defrauding Richmond Youth Soccer of around $200,000 - finally made an appearance in court, eight years after the offences took place.

- A cold, wet and dark spring was getting the blame for a shortage of local fruits and vegetables on the shelves. Many early field crops rotted in the ground after weeks of heavier than normal rains and lower than seasonal temperatures.


- The innagural Ships to Shore Steveston festival sailed into port to replace the failed bid to host the 2011 Tall Ships Festival.

- A hostage-taking at a townhouse complex just south of the Granville and Railway avenues intersection prompted a lockdown at the nearby Burnett secondary. After several hours, the suspect is talked out of the building peacefully with no further incident.

- Richmond joined in with the rest of the province as Canuck Stanley Cup Final fever swept through B.C.

Everywhere you went, the famous blue and green colours appeared in all kinds of forms.

- The roof caved in the Canucks' Stanley Cup dream and a riot - both watched by and involving Richmondites - kicked off downtown soon after Game 7 finishes.

- Out of the post-Stanley Cup riot gloom emerged a hero from Richmond, teenager Darrel Seskin. Seskin, 18, was captured on video during the riot, pulling a baying mob off a man who was being beaten on the ground.