December 4, 2013
The Vision Vancouver majority on City Council constantly applaud themselves for their efforts on behalf of renters. The latest slaps on the back they are giving themselves concern massive giveaways (“incentives”) to developers to build “affordable” rental housing under their Rental100 program. There are a few problems with this however.
First, they had to be sued in court by West End Neighbours before the program was brought into some semblance of legality.
Second, the rental of a tiny studio apartment at $1,443 a month is considered “affordable”, as is $2,627 a month for a two-bedroom apartment. When I questioned Vision Councillor Andrea Reimer on how these could possibly be considered affordable for Vancouverites on even median incomes, she claimed these were at “the low end of cost for what’s available.”
She’s wrong, of course, but let us assume she is right. That means that her party, Vision Vancouver, who have been in power for almost two full terms, have created a situation where people on normal wages cannot possibly live in the City. This is, no doubt, one major reason why Vancouver school enrollments are falling steadily. And she and Meggs and Louie and the others seem quite proud of these accomplishments.
Now, they will blame the Provincial government and even the Feds for all the problems: Vision is doing everything right and all the others are just screwing with them. But, just in time, we have an excellent article in “The Mainlander” showing clearly that the City administration deserves a lot of the blame for the disastrous sitiation we find ourselves in. I urge you to read it as it reinforces in great detail the points I make above.
There are 346 days left until the election.
December 4, 2013
Grandview’s own Penny Street has been nominated as one of the City of Vancouver’s Remarkable Women of 2014.
She is a fine friend and an extraordinary asset to our community. I do hope she is one of the twelve women who get posters honoring their efforts when they make the choice in January.
December 4, 2013
Julien Thomas and others are suggesting the creation of a parklet on two parking spaces outside the Prado Cafe, and they are seeking crowdsourced finds to get the project going.
Seems like a great idea to me. Good luck to them!
December 3, 2013
At around supper time last night I received an email from Translink announcing Information Sessions regarding upgrades to the SkyTrain station at Commercial & Broadway. The first one of these is on Thursday.
Seriously, Translink people who may be reading, what is it with the three days’ notice? Did you really just decide this week to do this? Is there some hidden meaning in the lack of notice you are giving people? Do you think we have memory problems and no electronic diaries?
Anyway, this is important stuff and so the meat of their email follows:
“TransLink is starting Phase 2 of upgrades to Commercial-Broadway Station, and you are invited to get involved! Commercial-Broadway Station is a major transit hub for Metro Vancouver, and serves the highest number of SkyTrain and bus passenger boardings on the system. The station lacks the capacity to accommodate current ridership, resulting in severe congestion, with long queues at key station “choke points” on an almost daily basis. The opening of the Evergreen Line in 2016 is expected to further increase overcrowding at the station. Phase 1 upgrades to the station were completed in 2009. The upcoming Phase 2 upgrades will improve capacity, and provide additional opportunities to make improvements to customer safety and comfort inside the station.”
The notice lists three Information meetings:
- Thursday 5th December 3:00pm-6:00pm at street level north side station
- Tuesday 10th December 11:00am-3:00pm UBC Student Union
- Wednesday 11th December 4:00pm-8:00pm Trout Lake Community Centre
In addition they offer an online survey at http://www.translink.ca/commercialbroadway
December 3, 2013
Last night’s GWAC general meeting for December was well attended (especially for such a frosty evening). It was full of fascinating and lively discussion about the Community Plan, and the future of the REACH Medical Centre that has been such a valuable feature of our neighbourhood since 1969.
The REACH folks talked to us about their current Listening project, and engaged us in two Listening Circles where we discussed neighbourhood issues, how we could deal with them, and how REACH can be helpful in solving some of them. There was also discussion about the bad state of their current building and whether their future could lie in a refurbished Britannia Community Centre campus (I say an emphatic YES!)
Some folks from the 8th Avenue area came along, prepared with a number of questions about the Community Plan. These included requests for detailed information on parking and transportation aspects of the required densification. There was a general consensus that these kinds of issues should have come up over the last 15 months of the Plan and yet we have had no real opportunity to discuss them as yet.
Thanks to everyone who came out and participated!
December 2, 2013
What a spectactular winter day for walking! Cool and crisp air but sunny and bright. Glorious!
Not many changes on the Drive this month, and the ones we have are positive. For example, Jean Queen (at 2120 Commercial) and UPS (at 2055) are finally open.
That does mean that Jean Queen’s old address at 2277 is now vacant and looking for a tenant. The same can be said for 1344 (formerly La Padrona), 1268, and the old Florida bulding at 1102 Commercial.
The long time vacabt storefront at 1840 Commercial has finally been taken over, by another bong shop:
The old Riot clothig store at 1345 is now a tattoo parlour and, to close off, the old Spanks Shoe place at 1181 is still awaiting the opening of Stanley Nails Spa.
Previous Changes on the Drive.