The Saboteur’s Husband

Words Cam McRae
Date Jan 28, 2015

On Wednesday January 28th, the Vancouver Province newspaper ran a story on the woman who is accused of sabotaging trails on Mount Fromme. If you missed this earlier you can get up to speed here. Through her husband, Mr Ronald B. Kraal, Ms. Tineke Kraal has communicated that since her arrest she has been afraid to leave her home and that her health has suffered. This is not an outcome I welcome and I am sympathetic to her plight. Initially I questioned why she was living in fear, even before her name was released, but realizing that cameras had recorded her (allegedly) nefarious actions in the woods must be disconcerting.

I can also understand her anxiety if she has been following comments below articles, in both mainstream media and on web sites like this one. She has not been treated kindly by the majority of commenters, and at times threatening language has been used. I would again like to discourage this approach and stress that most mountain bikers are reasonable and respectful people.

At the same time I can understand the anger. If she is guilty of what she is accused of, her actions had the potential to cause serious injury. I crashed as the result of a log placed after a blind corner on a steep section of trail, in the area where she apparently left debris. Luckily I was unhurt – but it could have gone otherwise. Despite having been affected by her actions, I don’t hope she is severely punished and I would be happy to hear she is again out on the trails enjoying nature, if the sabotage ceases.

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Some sleuthing by one of our interns turned up this email, with some incriminating statements that suggest Ms. Kraal had some help with her ‘trail work.’

Today however, I find my sympathy strained. A document has come to my attention, written by Mr. Kraal, where he betrays an attitude that is at odds with the one he presented in the newspaper.

The document, from 2005, confirms that this behaviour has been going on for years (as many riders know) and that these actions were specifically targeted at mountain bikers. His contention that, ““They’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” has no credibility in light of this new information.

The email, dated Thursday January 27th, 2005, written to the District of North Vancouver Mayor and Council, begins “Dear Sirs”, (Mr. Kraal was apparently unaware of the two sitting female councillors) and then gets to the heart of the matter: “I have been a resident of (address removed) for over 14 years and have been at war with mountain bikers ever since some council members didn’t have the foresight to realize that initiating a parking ban on Coleman and McNair would only move them to Dempsey which everyone here predicted but no one on council figured that one out.”

Parking has been an issue for residents near the trails on Fromme for some time, and the parking ban was a solution that wasn’t supported by mountain bikers. At the same time, if you live next to a soccer field you are going to have soccer players parking near your house. If you live next to a forest, guess where the forest users are going to park? I realize this may be inconvenient and that mountain bikers, like any group, sometimes behave badly before and after they engage in their activity. As a community we are working to encourage riders to be sensitive and aware of residents, and again I’m sure we can do better.

Despite Mr. Kraal admitting to being “at war” with mountain bikers, that isn’t the most disturbing part of the letter. He goes on to say “every morning we walk on the once beautiful trails and try to destroy the structures raised by people who have a total disregard and disrespect for nature.”

Mr. Kraal admitted, in a public document, that he too has damaged trails. Indeed the actions he is referring to have the potential to cause even more serious injury. Several years ago I saw structures sabotaged but with all elements left in place – so the damage was impossible to recognize. Luckily I was hiking and not riding when I found them, but the results could have been disastrous.

offending_paragraph

This paragraph says it all. As I suspected, NIMBYism motivated these actions; the hardship of having others park on the public road near your home.

On the aforementioned occasion I noticed a new ladder bridge on a trail called Groovula. I hadn’t ridden the trail in some time so I was interested to see this feature and determine if it was well built.  A close examination revealed that all four legs were cut. Each cut was at a steep angle so that if weight, like that from a rider, had been applied to the platform, the entire structure would have collapsed; leaving four sharp wooden timbers pointing upward. I yanked the structure down so the next rider to come along wouldn’t be impaled.

Next to the structure someone had, perhaps unwisely, built a throne of sorts on stilts. Curious, I began to climb up only to discover that it had been cut in the same fashion. It began to collapse beneath me but, because I was only part way up, I was unhurt. This too could have ended very badly.

Despite the fact that he has admitted to destroying structures, I am not suggesting that Mr. Kraal is responsible for these actions. And yet it seems clear the perpetrator intended to cause serious injury. It is disingenuous to say, as Mr. Kraal did, that these actions were designed only to slow riders.

I know first hand that mountain bikers can do better. We tend to get focussed on our riding and we aren’t always as aware as we could be of other trail users. Doing trail work at the top of a trail yields greetings and thanks from riders, but lower down, once riders are intensely focussed, they sometimes fail to notice trail workers standing a few feet from where they are riding.

So I have some sympathy and I know we need to continue to improve, but my suspicion is that the motivation for these actions has more to do with NIMBYism than trail conflict or environmental damage. Mr. Kraal reveals his motivation when he admits that his “war” began when the parking regulations were changed. And the area where the sabotage has been noticed is a very low traffic area. For over 15 years I have ridden those trails, often several times a week, and I have never once come across a hiker. And I can only remember one occasion when I saw another rider.  Mr. Kraal makes a bold claim that his wife is in danger on the trails: “When she goes for a hike, she has to jump for safety,” The idea of trail conflict in this particular area is ludicrous.

Here in North Van we have a more vocal opponent to mountain biking. Her name is Monica Craver, and she is also quoted in the Province’s article. Ms. Craver has exposed her hostility to mountain bikers by shifting her rationale opportunistically. Asking Ms. Craver about mountain bikers is akin to asking Tea Partiers about Obama; she hates us independent of what we do. Ms. Craver has cited trail conflict, environmental issues and, most cynically, safety in her opposition to riders. When a young man injured his spinal cord in a freak crash, Ms. Craver callously capitalized on his misfortune and, despite having never worried about our well-being before, called for a ban on mountain biking because of the potential danger.

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It’s disconcerting to realize that three District of North Vancouver staff came into contact with this document (two acknowledging consideration and one ownership) but failed to take any action.

Long time residents of upper Lynn Valley fondly remember a time when their neighbourhood was the end of the road. There was almost no traffic, no parking issues and no mountain biking. It is likely many of them were attracted to the area for its tranquility and proximity to nature, and while I know some stellar long term residents, it’s clear some were drawn to it because they don’t play well with others. Fortunately newer residents to the area don’t appear to have issues with the mountain bike community.

While I’m certain we aren’t perfect, and that we ignore those who take issue with our behaviour at our peril, the Kraals, the Cravers, and their ilk will never accept us. Mountain bikers volunteer labour to the trails, both hiking and mountain biking, and here in North Vancouver most of us endeavour to have positive interactions with other trail users. We’ve come a long way, but our improvements, in both substance and image, have never been acknowledged by our adversaries. We know how you feel, Barack.

It’s clear, in spite of this new information and the police allegations, that this incident presents an opportunity for the mountain biking community. Despite our anger, despite others’ attempts to injure us, we can and should take the high road. My hope is that Ms. Kraal will have a change of heart and see the error of her ways. I hope to encounter her on the trails so that I can stop my bike, say hello with a smile, and let her pass.

This is one of those times when the internet can make a difference. When commenting about this issue, either here or elsewhere, let’s show our true colours. The mountain bikers I know are respectful, intelligent people who show compassion for their fellow humans, Let’s not let our anger, while justified, get in the way of our humanity.

Trending on NSMB

Comments

mountain-biker-and-hiker
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mountain biker and hiker  - Feb. 19, 2015, 2:57 p.m.

here is his original email to the council. interesting read. i feel sorry for the old guy and his wife. they must be consumed with hate and bitterness…

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pepelecrab
-1 Cam McRae
pepelecrab  - Feb. 14, 2015, 1:46 p.m.

I appreciated your evenhanded approach. I did not appreciate your inaccurate comparison to an apparently self serving ideologue to"akin to asking Tea Partiers about Obama". Im guessing you do not live in the United States, I'm guessing you have never met a typical so called Tea Partier (there is no such person, its just an easy name to chant and direct your hatred at anyone who opposes Obama's policies), I'm guessing your opinions are formed by an overwhelmingly liberal biased media which makes me question your opinions on everything else. I think Obama is a swell guy. He's a good father from what I know. He speaks well. He likes good beer. But as leader, not so much. His policies are self-serving, and he's blatantly dishonest and disingenuous. Bush is a swell guy too. He likes good beer and he's an avid mt biker.
Why you felt the need to insert a political jab is beyond me (not really, it's obvious why). Next time try not to be so lazy and hateful and find a more accurate analogy.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - July 10, 2017, 1:23 a.m.

Blow me.

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jimmy
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Jimmy  - Feb. 1, 2015, 4:24 p.m.

You people posting violent threats toward this poor woman are the worst kind of people. Poor cowards and the reason old people are scared while walking up there.

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shirleygail
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Shirleygail  - Jan. 31, 2015, 1:58 p.m.

Nicely said! I walk the trails regularly, and yes, whilst there are those who have given me grief, there are many more who are courteous and respectful, slowing down some - or better yet, even stopping, so my unsteady self with sticks can pass by with my dogs (note: this is just important) - my courteous and respectful dogs. We all manage to carry on, usually with a cheerful comment on the weather! This is a delightful article, well done.

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Amanda  - Jan. 31, 2015, 11 a.m.

I find it hilarious when hikers and equestrians claim that mountain bikers 'ruin nature' and 'destroy trails'. I spend much of my fall and winter building and maintaining local spots, and I've NEVER met a single hiker or equestrian looking to help shore up erosion channels, reroute plants or help creat better traffic flow. I have, however, been digging on a wet trail that should clearly be avoided and had hikers walk through, followed by dogs, children and groups that equate to the size of a small circus. Footprints and dog paw prints in mud are still damaging, as are horse hoof prints, but these folks who thank me for working on 'their' trails during the offseason (as I'm not easily identified as a 'mountain biker' during trailwork) also curse us when we patiently stop for them during the summer. I've never seen one of them working on the trails… Not a single one. Yet holes appear in jump landings, nails and glass have been strewn across the trail, and despite all signs of us being good stewards of a shared recreational area, they continue their efforts to stomp out access and clearly oppose our presence.

In all fairness, I do understand these people's attitude to a certain degree when it comes to wooden structures and things on the trail -- not every builder (especially the young kids here who think they can build anywhere they want and f*ck anyone who disagrees) is careful of where and what they build, but both negative attitudes stem from a sense of entitlement. Bottom line is this: The trails do not belong to anyone, regardless of someone's house location and taxpayer amounts. Sabotaging the trails could also hurt another hiker or their dog, and for what? So these people could make a point? So they could satisfy their need for retribution for some perceived slight from the MTB crowd? To exact revenge for someone parking on their street?! That's just insane, and especially considering an old lady's attack this week on the MTBer, the insanity is escalating.

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shirleygail
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Shirleygail  - Jan. 31, 2015, 2:14 p.m.

I fill in holes dug by dogs and other critters. I clear tons of litter, I pick up where others haven't. Let's not be using such huge generalizations about the folks out with their families and their kids and dogs. We may not be able to do the kind of Big, grunt work you do (which was not as necessary when it was simply horses, wildlife, dogs and people..let's agree that the mountain bikers do the most destruction to tree roots etc which is why is many good people like yourself are out there building up the trails in the first place) but we're out there every single day trying to leave the forest just a little better off than when we arrived. Every day. For 30 years. Never is a really big word, Amanda, particularly when 'shouted'.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:22 a.m.

I think it's great that you steward the trails, and I imagine you are far from the only person doing it who does not mountain bike. I assume you don't mountain bike based on the subtext of your comment, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

What I'm interested in discussing is your assertion that mountain bikers do the most destruction. I see that as the elephant in the room, so to speak. I've always presumed that equestrians probably get the medal for the most damage, but I write that in a casual, uninformed sense and I wouldn't really try to gather a broad consensus based on my presumption. Would you say your view is similarly informed by presumption? I'm not prepared to agree with you just because you have an opinion, but I'm open to being convinced by a real discussion based on rigorously gathered data. I acknowledge that there may well we legitmate discussions on this out there but I haven't seen them come up in the MTB media. Whether or not that is because they're actively avoiding it I don't know, but I'd like to see something on it. I don't think this is the place for an in depth discussion of it as it's off topic really, but if you wouldn't mind answering my question I'd appreciate it. Of course a link to a proper, authoritative source on the matter would be great if you do happen to be an expert.

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shirleygail
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Shirleygail  - Feb. 3, 2015, 12:36 p.m.

Hi NatBrown, I like the way you phrased your response so as not to ignite an unintentional fury - that's not me, though, so you're quite safe! Thank you for your thoughtful question. The thing is, as I walk, I cannot help but notice the mud holes have tire tracks leading in and leading out. Then one can see where the bicycles have avoided the mud pit and created a "secondary" trail around an adjacent tree, etc. More tree roots become exposed and new mud pits created. Whilst not an expert Per Se, as a trained horticulturalist (and having earned my living as a horticulturalist since 1974) I have been in awe of our forests for over 30 years. In my 30 years of walking and hiking, I'm comfortable with my statement that the droves of bicycles have damaged the trails more deeply than horses, walkers, etc. Last week, when walking, as I stood holding my dogs for the bicyclists to pass, I counted 14 in one group. As they pushed forward, mud spewed out from under their wheels. I was dressed for wet, and didn't mind getting mud splattered, so there was no conflict. stepping aside and holding my pups for them to pass. You are quite right, I'm not a mountain biker (though I'd probably go for the rush if I were a much younger woman!). I get the challenge, and the thrill. And I appreciate the efforts the biking community have made towards trail upkeep and redesigns. I would also be interested in a 'proper, authoritative source' but I think, ultimately, the anecdotal and physical evidence support my thoughts.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 3, 2015, 1:54 p.m.

Hi Shirley. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I'll go against my point about this not being a good place for this discussion and give you my thoughts anyway. First, I do see your experience in horticulture as being relevant, more so than anything I could claim. Nonetheless I have some thoughts. I spent the first 25 years of my life in Australia (Brisbane) and the geology of that area contrasts hugely with the coast mountains. While rainfall in quite a few riding zones there is similar to here (which I think surprises lots of folks from here), there is much more mineral soil there than here that gives the ground a very different quality than what I've seen anywhere on the the north shore. At times riding a bike is essentially impossible because the mud can be incredibly sticky, so people don't. But equestrians aren't affected, and in one day large swaths of trail can be turned in a texture akin that of a crumpet at 100x scale. No exaggeration, and it solidifies and stays that way once dry (essentially unwalkable by humans, presumably a struggle for horses, but not too bad for bikes) until it gets really wet again and resets. I do expect there is considerable erosion that accompanies that process. Anyway, I'm just trying to illustrate my overall view, I understand this example doesn't apply here. An example that does is my experience of hiking trails all over southern BC. I've done quite a lot of hiking here and been shocked at how eroded almost all of these are. So much so that I don't think the condition of the bike trails (before the rejuvenation began a few years ago) was any worse than the state of most hiking trails. I'm curious what your opinion is of the state of erosion on hiking trails. Maybe I've just been on bad trails.

I guess I remain unconvinced that bikes are the worst offenders, but I do take your experience and opinion on board.

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ray
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Ray  - Feb. 3, 2015, 1:59 p.m.

Numerous studies have found the environmental impact from biking and hiking to be about the same, and the impact from equestrian use greater than either biking or hiking. A quick Google search will turn up several papers.

Tire tracks leading in and out of mud puddles is actually a good thing. It means bikers are following IMBA trail etiquette and staying on the trail tread. Hikers will often walk around a puddle to avoid getting their feet wet. Walking or biking around a mud puddle leads to trail widening and often secondary trails or "braids" arise, increasing the environmental impact.
What's the #1 factor in trail damage? Not biking. Not hiking. Not equestrian use. It's trail design. Design a trail well, and it will last. Design it poorly, and it will fall apart in short order no matter who is using it.
There is a perception that droves of mountain bikers are damaging trails, but often the reality is the trail was never designed properly in the first place, and it's falling apart from a drastic increase in use, not the type of use. Replace the droves of mountain bikers with droves of hikers or horses and a poorly designed trail will fall apart like house of cards.

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shirleygail
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Shirleygail  - Feb. 4, 2015, 10:17 a.m.

Good points all, Ray - I think the bigger picture is that we are all trying to get along. I hope this misguided woman and her husband are the anomaly. I hope all of us can say in truth "the majority of my encounters with other trail users are positive". We must acknowledge there are idiots, but hopefully they are not the majority. I had riders come at me so fast I slipped and fell as I was scrambling out of the way (a pack of 3). They cussed me cause they had to stop and "interrupt the flow", and none of the young men chose help me up . It happened once. I don't go around tooting that as my major experience, because it in no way represents the majority of my encounters. The majority of my encounters are positive. I refuse to allow a couple of 'bad apples' mess with my joy breaks!

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shirleygail
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Shirleygail  - Feb. 4, 2015, 10:19 a.m.

Thanks, NatBrown, see you on the trails! I'll be the one cheering and whooping from the sidelines, especially if you catch air!

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 4, 2015, 1:37 p.m.

Thanks to you too. You're wiser that me in just letting this go I think. I hope to see you out there too. I'll be the one death gripping it down relatively easy trails - not much air for me.

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Amanda  - June 9, 2015, 12:42 p.m.

I said I've never seen one, not that they don't exist. It wasn't a generalization, it was an experiential relation.

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gordon-shannon
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Gordon Shannon  - Jan. 31, 2015, 7:49 a.m.

Time to start going to the District Council meetings and push our voice. My parents are the accused age, maybe older, and would never act in such a pestilent way. The Council is made up citizens who need to hear our voices. We do not need violence in our woods.

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Dirk
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Dirk  - Jan. 30, 2015, 2:28 p.m.

Dude. You're killin' it! You're a part of the story now:

"In a posting Wednesday, NSMB.com editor Cam McRae writes that Tineke’s husband Ronald Kraal said he was at “war with mountain bikers” in North Vancouver in correspondence that dates back to 2005."

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Malamute
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Malamute  - Jan. 30, 2015, 12:35 p.m.

I live here, ride here, been riding the North Shore since the late '80s, and bought a home a stone's throw from Upper Lynn Elementary over 10 years ago. I walk my dog on the local trails, and always do my best to be courteous when meeting others to foster a sense of Community whether on or off the bike. I vote with a purpose in Municipal elections thanks to the late Ernie Crist, and I think people like the Kraals will only cement the growing, changing Community that use these North Shore trails. Things do change, it is the constant, and people that can't embrace the change will only be left behind. I think many things are better, sure we lost the bottom of Seymour to a golf course, and I wonder what the Kraal's think of that blight (maybe I have something in common with them there) but I think this minority that conduct terrrorism on our trails deserve as harsh a judgement as they have inflicted on Our Community.

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HazenColbert
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Hazen Colbert North Vancouver  - Jan. 30, 2015, 9:22 a.m.

The media are not helping find common ground. The woman needs to face consequences, but might we all benefit from some restorative justice? Perhaps the good Mr. Mathew Bond might be able to help out. I have no time for creating dangerous trail conditions, but I equally have no time for riders who are drinking beer while leaving cans on the trails or riding while high. A bike with a 90kg rider going downhill is a dangerous instrument. We need all our cognitive skills to ensure our safety and the safety of others

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DirtGirl27
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Gforce27  - Jan. 30, 2015, 10:28 a.m.

If there are indeed riders who are drinking and throwing beer cans around D.U.I'ng, (descending under the influence…yeah, I just came up with that…) as you say, I'd say the mountain biking community itself needs to do a much better job at discouraging that, even if it means calling the cops! They are making it bad for the rest of us who try to be respectful of other trail users. That said, I live in Cumberland, and as much as I like hiking up Space Nugget with my kid and dogs, I'm not going to do it on a Sunday when there are tons of mountain bikers coming down. We've all gotta give a little, you know?

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 30, 2015, 11:55 a.m.

What do you mean by restorative justice in this case, Hazen?

I won't deny there are riders who enjoy the occasional beer up there, however I also don't come across cans on the trails - very often. Occasionally there is evidence of a fire site with some discarded bottles and I can guarantee you those are not left by riders - bottles are heavier and prone to breakage. As for riding while impaired, definitely not a good idea, but that feels like deflecting the issue here. MTBers are not drunk, high, out-of-control cannonballs careening down the trails, despite what some may think.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Jan. 30, 2015, 2:08 p.m.

It's not really the job of the media to help find a common ground, only to inform us of what has happened and what people think. I don't think anything has been revealed about the Kraal's motives that indicates that they are rational, and in the absence of that there should not be any common ground.

I don't think Pete quite stated it plainly enough in his reply: MTBers being drunk while riding is not the issue here. What prompted you to bring that up? Do you have anything to substantiate it, or give it priority as an important issue? If so, I feel very confident that you won't have any trouble finding a consensus among MTBers against riding while drunk. Or even littering for that matter.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Jan. 29, 2015, 10:47 p.m.

Serious props for finding that email. Cam, I like the piece and find you touch on a good range of themes. I am a big proponent for a balanced response on this issue from the MTB crowd and think you've very effectively promoted that.

Anyway, it's great to have a little insight into these folks at last. While I don't wish them ill, I certainly wish they'd grow the fuck up and work on their understanding of the world a little bit. I mean really, ooh, you find too many people park in front of your house on an intermittent basis. Let's start a letter writing campaign with Amnesty International to try to right this profound violation of their human rights. The point about MTBers winning out over residents on their bullshit parking issue because the bike industry would provide more taxes to the municipality than residents - wrong. The point that there used to be lots of wildlife before MTB - wrong. Brochures published describing the fun of destroying nature - Bat. Shit. Crazy.

And focussing on the article in the province: She has to jump for safety? At 5am, January 4 on those trails? Bullshit. Making a mountain out of a molehill? She's not being charged with attempted murder. There's nothing about her being charged with mischief that doesn't feel like a perfect fit to me. Setting a trap either. What I think is disingenuous is Ronald's assertion that he thinks most MTBers are nice and only a minority are idiots (like those terms are incompatible anyway). So they're going out and destroying the fun for everyone who rides those trails just because a minority are idiots. He's just trying to make himself seem reasonable in the press. And that, I think, is what Tineke is all out of shape about. (If it were the unreasonable comments on the web, I think Ronald would have used that against MTBers in the province article.) Quite a few people are going to think she's nasty, vindictive, petty, and/or stupid. Insofar as acting this way, she almost certainly is and will lose considerable respect in her community over it. As someone who has done perhaps more than his share of stupid, regrettable things, I suggest she harden up and take some responsibility. Cowering at home is a display of character that competes with her sabotage for being what I hope are her worst qualities as a human. No one decent wants a pound of flesh, just that she stops this antisocial behaviour.

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shirtan-pantz
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Shirtan Pantz  - Jan. 29, 2015, 6:29 p.m.

I live in Deep Cove. On sunny days, there is no parking on our street or anywhere else in the neighbourhood. Concert in the Cove nights? Crowds of people. Everywhere. Deep Cove Daze - groups of people, many of them intoxicated and partying. Up and down our street. Same with Carol Ships, Penguin Plunge, KneeKnacker. Rowing Regattas, Sea2Summit Adventure Race. To name but a few. Its as much a part of the local scenery as Indian Arm Marine Park. How do you think the residents of Ambleside, and Dundarave or Lower Lonsdale feel? What makes the residents of Mount Fromme so special?

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 30, 2015, 11:48 a.m.

It's a good point, Shirtan -er…Mr Pantz. One difference is that on Mt Fromme, it isn't due to special events that are expected/planned for every year - the MTB parking situation is a daily problem. Contributing factor #2 is that it has ramped up significantly in the last 10 years. Residents of Lower Lonsdale or Ambleside moved to an already urbanized area, whereas the lower slopes of Fromme are still 'tucked away' in a supposedly quiet, residential zone. So, for those who moved there 20 years ago or more, I can understand why they may not be pleased that finding parking in front of their house is a daily problem that has steadily gotten worse.

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blackfly
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Peter Leeds  - Jan. 29, 2015, 5:08 p.m.

Well written. I wonder if this will be printed in the Province as a rebuttal to the total BS laid out on Wednesday. Moreover, it seems to me that in an effort to make the trails more "peaceful" Ronald did nothing. Except the opposite of maintenance. Make no mistake people, this was an orchestrated PR move to gain sympathy before the trial date. There is nothing here that would indicate otherwise. Fear of leaving the house? Sounds like a guilty conscience to me. The best thing these two could do now is move away. The social vilification they will get in the local neigbourhood is not going to go way. Bikers work in shops, gas stations……and they live in a rich mountain biking community to boot. I am not advocating any retaliation, in any form, but I understand human nature, too. Who would not be upset. I hope this letter can be brought up in court as rebuttal testimony. It would be interesting.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 29, 2015, 7:24 p.m.

Already done. Basically they repurposed my article.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Jan. 29, 2015, 10:52 p.m.

I wish I'd read your comment before I wrote mine. I've inadvertently stolen your themes.

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1994canucks
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Brett Watkins  - Jan. 29, 2015, 3:46 p.m.

In light of this new information, I'd like to know and hear what actions the city took.

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mightyted  - Jan. 29, 2015, 3:27 p.m.

It will be interesting to see if the Kraals try to retort again. I must admit the whole thing gets me pretty angry but I think there is still time for them to admit what they have been doing and apologize. If not, then I'd recommend they start looking for a good realtor.
Also, now may be a good time for the ns mtb community to start discussing parking in the area. There's enough smart people here to come up with some good ideas and put them in front of the Council Members.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 29, 2015, 3:37 p.m.

A parking plan is moving forward Ted. DNV is building 75 spots below the water tower on Fromme. I'm personally not that keen on the plan because of the trails that will be lost and the wasteful alignment of the lot, but overall it's a step forward

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mightyted  - Jan. 29, 2015, 3:43 p.m.

I had thought that plan had been set aside. I agree that its not the best option available. 75 spots on Natural High will create a nasty bottle neck, especially in the summer time.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 29, 2015, 5:06 p.m.

Tree removal begins any day now. I don't remember the completion date but there is a sign posted at the first gate with some details.

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mickmart
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mickmart  - Jan. 29, 2015, 2:07 p.m.

Cam, thanks for doing the interview with The Province today.

Here's the link to the latest article based on above:

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cerealkilla_
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jdt  - Jan. 29, 2015, 1:10 p.m.

Awesome stuff Cam. I suggest that some of this documentation be forwarded to the Crown. It would also be nice if the mainstream press would pick up on this and see the true nature of the parties involved, and show that we have a predominantly positive and constructive population of bikers and happy welcoming non-biker trail-users, contrasted against a small minority of NIMBYs that engage in destructive and dangerous activities as part of their campaign to impose their own selfish narrow view of nature upon other, regardless of the danger their actions pose to public safety.

The majority get along and share, the minority wage their private war. We build, they destroy.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 29, 2015, 3:38 p.m.

See the link above Jordan. I did a phone interview with the Province this morning and just got back from doing one on camera, with the Province as well.

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cerealkilla_
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jdt  - Jan. 29, 2015, 3:40 p.m.

And I think we should all be grateful for being so well represented. I know I am. Thanks Cam. We all benefit from your work.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 29, 2015, 7:26 p.m.

Kind of you to say so Jordan. Thanks!

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powderturns
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Mike  - Jan. 29, 2015, 11:10 a.m.

the stupidity around north americans thinking they own the street and sidewalk in front of their homes boggles the mind. that said, I can appreciate some not liking the increased traffic as biking has grown in popularity. as for the trails themselves, i suppose it doesn't help that the bikes have gotten so much better that even the unskilled can ride fast…

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AlanB  - Jan. 29, 2015, 10:46 a.m.

You nailed it. People need to dial back the hate. Attitudes like that don't help the vision of "Trails for all. Trails forever".

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disqus_hbf4dqgs7y
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disqus_Hbf4dqGs7y  - Jan. 29, 2015, 9:53 a.m.

If they moved there fourteen years ago, it could be argued that they moved into a mountain bike mecca that was already established globally as such. It's possibly their realtor that they should be taking this issue up with, not the riders.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 29, 2015, 10:01 a.m.

Actually, since that email was written 9 years ago, they moved there 23 years ago. There was already some mountain biking going on in the early 90s - but it was in its infancy. It certainly wasn't a mecca at that time.

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disqus_hbf4dqgs7y
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disqus_Hbf4dqGs7y  - Jan. 29, 2015, 10:29 a.m.

I missed that……fair enough. The industry/culture of MTB definitely grew up around them…..A LOT.

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rich
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Rich  - Jan. 29, 2015, 9:35 a.m.

I have no sympathy for her, none whatsoever! She knew her acts were malicious and could seriously hurt someone and yet she continued. Now that she's been caught, she says she lives in fear based on some diatribe spewed on the Internet. Well good, she deserves it, she brought it on herself! I doubt anyone, however vile their remarks may be, would ever follow through with any threats…if any were made, I haven't seen all the comments. Once again, she's trying to make it all about "poor little ole me" and while the fear she may feel is real, it's all conjured up in her head. One word: psychopath!

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wink-grant
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Wink Grant  - Jan. 29, 2015, 11:39 a.m.

I completely agree. She intentionally set up debris and ruined features that could have caused serious injuries and now she is claiming to be the victim because she got caught and called out. This a reality check for her and anyone that think they can get away with casually putting other people at risk. I hope justice is served accordingly.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Jan. 29, 2015, 4:36 p.m.

The article in The Province (Vancouver's tabloid newspaper for those not around here), on which this NSMB article is based, does not say that she lives in fear. It says that she's in bad shape and nervous. They are not synonymous. It also does not say that her feelings have been influenced by the diatribe spewed on the internet. I imagine they are not.

If you don't know that casual threats have been made you haven't been following this very closely. To be fair, maybe you really haven't. I do doubt that any threats would be acted on, but it's a shameful mark on MTB culture that they have been made.

Psychopath! Really?

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shirleygail
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Shirleygail  - Jan. 31, 2015, 2:20 p.m.

A bit harsh, Rich. The woman - and man, for that matter - are utterly misguided, absolutely yes. But hardly a psychopath. Let's not ramp up the rhetoric. We lose credibility when we start tossing psychiatric terminology around.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Jan. 29, 2015, 9:12 a.m.

Nice sleuthing NSMB interns. A word about Monica Craver. While she has been a vocal opponent of biking she has been upfront about that for years. This article never suggested she engaged in sabotage and I want to stress that point too. Although I will never ever forget the distinct lack of class she displayed in the matter of the injury to John R

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 29, 2015, 9:45 a.m.

Thanks, Lee. We've been clear to make sure that nothing is attributed to Monica that isn't warranted, which includes specifically mentioning it wasn't her when this story first broke and before the saboteur's identity was known.

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materials-guy
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materials-guy  - Jan. 29, 2015, 8:54 a.m.

As with all the others, great article. I am sitting at home with a broken clavacle wondering if the well placed rocks in that corner was just dumb luck or some thing else. (Squamish) I know it was dumb luck but the thought creeps into my noodle now days.
If our sweet heart lady feels for her saftey then she KNOWS how bad her actions are and the kind of dammage/injury that could have inflicted on an individual.
I do not wish harm to her as her fear speeks volumes for her actions. I also do not wish for jail time, but I do agree with Milo for the 200 hrs of community service. If she feels this is unfair then a hefty fine should be applied and the money going to trail maintaince.

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derek
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Derek  - Jan. 29, 2015, 7:58 a.m.

Cam, can you please post the rest of Mr. Kraal's email? It appears there is at least one line missing between the sentence in parentheses (the first part of the email provided in your article) and the line beginning "they would raise at their municipal council…" at the start of the second part of his email provided in your article. Thanks.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 29, 2015, 8:56 a.m.

Attached Rick.

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derek
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Derek  - Jan. 29, 2015, 12:51 p.m.

Thanks Cam!

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slider32
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slider32  - Jan. 29, 2015, 7:57 a.m.

What a sick feeling I have in my stomach reading this. Admitting to DNV council years ago that he was destroying structures and none of them thought to be concerned that this may put others in danger. I echo others comments that this hopefully finds its way to the police/crown prosecutor to show the mindset of these people.

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Henry-Chinaski
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Henry Chinaski  - Jan. 29, 2015, 7:53 a.m.

Met an old timer that was heading out of the woods at dusk a couple nights ago. I was heading in for a night rip, which he thought, was crazy. He shared that he’d been in Lynn Valley for over 40 years. We chatted for a while about changes that he’d seen over his time there: the cost of housing, increase of mt bikers, etc. He wasn’t bitter about any of them. Rather he felt fortunate to have been able to live in the shadow of the North Shore Mountains for over 40 years. We both agreed it was heaven on earth, and parted ways.

I really feel sorry for these bitter folks. You live in one of the most pristine areas in North America, only to wake up early in the morning and drag debris over trail. You might as well be in jail.

Good work, NSMB!

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haiku_stu
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bobloblaw  - Jan. 29, 2015, 7:52 a.m.

Well said.

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blackbird
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tw  - Jan. 29, 2015, 7:42 a.m.

One cannot but smile at the irony of a person who lives in a house, likely has a driveway and uses a road to get to "nature" while chastizing others for their disrespect of nature. That's rich.

Or the fact that they now "live in fear". Boo hoo.
Imagine somebody severely injuring themselves as a result of their miliscious actions?

They can find sympathy between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.

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Faction
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Derp  - Jan. 29, 2015, 7:03 a.m.

…and the plot thickens. Hopefully this is forwarded to a newspaper and the police? Cam, you may become a witness!

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jonathan-harris
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Jonathan Harris  - Jan. 29, 2015, 6:54 a.m.

Well written Cam. As much as it is good that the alleged trail saboteur was caught, this whole subject is a delicate one that needs careful consideration of our words and actions in response.

As someone who has been riding for over 20 years and seen some of the dark times when our ability to access trails has been threatened, this case needs to showcase how responsible, intelligent and mature we are. Like Cam wrote, we need to take the high road. Show compassion for someone who clearly doesn't understand our sport and the people that take part in it.

I grew up riding shared trails in the UK and the concept of a "bike primary" trail was the stuff of dreams. These old trails were primarily for horses to use and we're hundreds of years old in many cases. We were the new kids on the block. I had to be concientious and being polite and courteous to other trail users was my way to enable me to ride there again.

I am very happy things have changed and trail networks for mountain bikes are a thing of reality now. Let's not compromise what many people have worked hard for by dropping to the level of writing threatening posts, no matter if you regard them as a "joke" or not, to those that are against mountain biking they are just more ammunition for them to use against us.

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Lalena
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Lalena Desautels  - Jan. 29, 2015, 6:47 a.m.

Thank you for the well thought out and sensible writings on this topic.

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milo
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Milo  - Jan. 29, 2015, 2:04 a.m.

nice write up Cam. I think she should be charged with 200 hours of community service, working as a bike trail builder. that way she would actually get to know some bikers in person and see that we're pretty decent bunch of people. She certainly wouldn't be cutting down any of the structures after she put all that effort in building them.

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jonathan-harris
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Jonathan Harris  - Jan. 29, 2015, 6:55 a.m.

When I was chatting with Cam yesterday I actually suggested she should do some time maintain trails with Digger.

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matt
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Matt  - Jan. 29, 2015, 8:02 a.m.

I agree with this idea. However, I dont trust her with either a hammer and nail nor a chainsaw. That would just be unsafe for everyone. Instead, for those 200 hours she can follow me while I do trail maintanence and pick up my beer cans. Ill even be so kind as to let her hope on my handlebars and give her a ride home after the long day of picking up all my cans. It sure is a nice soft ride up front…

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shirleygail
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Shirleygail  - Jan. 31, 2015, 2 p.m.

made me laugh, thanks for being silly!

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ric
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Ric  - Jan. 29, 2015, 10:59 a.m.

Nice idea in theory, but not someone I would want building any trail I ride. Utah took that line of thinking to absurdity when a judge sentenced a child abuser to community service working with kids

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shutterbug007
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ShutterBug007  - Jan. 29, 2015, 1:45 a.m.

Well said bru… all the way from hot as hell cape town

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Paul-Snyder
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Paul Snyder  - Jan. 29, 2015, 1:21 a.m.

Well said, Cam.

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Timmigrant
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Tim Coleman  - Jan. 28, 2015, 11:48 p.m.

I raise my glass to you Cam. Well said and completely agree.

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Captain-Snappy
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Merwinn  - Jan. 29, 2015, 8:53 a.m.

Hear, hear!

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troy-tyrell
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Troy Tyrell  - Jan. 29, 2015, 10:58 a.m.

Ditto!!!

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