The digital world allows us to read almost whatever we want almost as it happens.
It also allows us to track what we are reading.
The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News website had more than three million page views in 2017.
Here’s what you read about most in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows in 2017:
1. The most read story on mapleridgenews.com in 2017, with more than 32,000 page views, was the unfortunate passing of Aiden Serr, a 19-year-old university student from Maple Ridge.
Serr was studying film and biology at Simon Fraser University after graduating from Maple Ridge secondary in 2016. He was an avid photographer who wanted to one day shoot for National Geographic. He also loved nature and his SPCA rescue dog, Willy.
Aiden also played minor hockey, as well as box and field lacrosse and ball hockey for local clubs and a school team. He was a captain on various teams.
The son of Abbotsford Police deputy chief Mike Serr and local teacher Kirsten Urdahl-Serr, Aiden passed away after crashing his vehicle early in the morning along Lougheed Highway in November.
Simon Fraser University created a memorial fund to honour Aiden, and exceeded its goal of raising $25,000, while hundreds of people packed into Maple Ridge Baptist Church to celebrate Aiden’s life.
2. The second most read story of 2017, with almost 25,000 page views, was about Rich Goulet being asked not to return as basketball coach at Pitt Meadows secondary following complaints from parents.
Goulet spent 39 years, winning more than 1,000 games coaching high school basketball, including three provincial championships.
He was inducted in the Basketball B.C. Hall of Fame and won a Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award.
The story about Goulet, 71, losing his coaching position garnered comments in support of him of in social media from players he previously coached, including former two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash.
Other past players he coached and their parents appealed to the school board to reverse the decision and allow Goblet to return as coach of the senior boys’ basketball team at Pitt, while other coaches in B.C. threatened to boycott a tournament at the local high school.
3. The next most read story, with close to 21,000 page views, was about a Maple Ridge father who had his truck broken into while spending his final moments with his daughter at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
Kira Short died after a two-year battle with cancer in August.
Thieves broke into her father Peter’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, parked outside the hospice, breaking the windows and stealing precious memories – two small polished stones he got when Kira was at B.C. Children’s Hospital. One was inscribed with the word “Hope” the other with “Miracles.”
Thieves also took some drawings that Kira did. They also took his sunglasses, extra clothes, about $80 in loose change, as well as a battery, a charger and an electric boat motor that he had been given in exchange for Metallica tickets he couldn’t use.
Kira had epithelioid sarcoma, between her C1 and C2 vertebrae and had been undergoing intense chemotherapy and radiation sessions since 2015.
A “Candle Vigil for Kira, Our Warrior Princess,” was held in Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge later in the month.
Her parents also organized a ride in her honour, which raised more than $4,000 for B.C. Children’s Hospital.
4. The fourth most read story, with again close to 21,000 page views, was about an organic food business in Maple Ridge that stored a dead dog and 25 pounds of ‘pot’ in freezer.
With the carcass of a dead dog and 25 pounds of marijuana in a freezer at Beyond Organics, inspectors from Fraser Health gave the Maple Ridge business a “high” hazard rating in May.
There was a heavy fly infestation inside the premises on Dewdney Trunk Road, according to Fraser Health, and foods obtained from unapproved sources. The latter violation arose because labels were missing on many meat products in both the deli cooler and freezer display.
In the comments section of the Fraser Health inspection report, it was noted pets were not allowed inside the building in downtown Maple Ridge.
Fraser Health also received a complaint that dogs were staying in the living quarters, adjacent to the main food processing area.
Health inspectors also had RCMP attend, because of the large quantity of marijuana found.
There were two follow-up inspections in June, when according to Fraser Health, the dead dog was still in the freezer, the back room was still a bedroom, and labels were missing on meat products.
It was noted that the premises was not open to the public.
On June 15, the inspection found the hazard rating low, dropping to a score of three, from a high of 68 on the previous one.
Anything over 30 is considered a high hazard rating.
Bailiffs, supported by two RCMP officers, moved to take possession of the store that housed Beyond Organics in September.
5. The fifth most read story of the year, with more than 12,000 page views, was about a man in Maple Ridge who was shot in the leg and taken to hospital.
It happened in August. About 10 RCMP cruisers, several fire trucks and ambulances converged on to a home between 203rd and 202nd streets on Dewdney Trunk Road.
According to a bystander, a man was shot twice, once in the stomach and again in the upper thigh, after he was confronted by a man wielding a gun.
Police, though, wouldn’t say what type of injuries the man suffered, nor would they provide an update of his condition. Ridge Meadows RCMP did say the shooting was not believed to be random.
In September, RCMP responded to a report about the same home in west Maple Ridge where the person was shot twice.
There were as many as five police vehicles on Dewdney Trunk Road near 203rd Street.
A witness said, just after 8 p.m., that shots were fired.
Another witness said police seemed to be looking, on foot, for someone, northbound on 203rd St.
However, police found no evidence of shots fired and said the call was ‘unfounded.”