Which Way Did They Go?

July 27, 2012


Community Plan Dates

July 25, 2012

The City folks managing the Grandview Community Plan want to show us what “the community wants for the future of the neighbourhood.

That is probably overstating the case somewhat but they “will be displaying the results from our asset mapping questionnaire, open houses and more!” and offering BBQ hot dogs at the following events:

  • Thursday July 26th 3-7pm on Commercial at N. Grandview Highway (rain or shine);
  • Saturday July 28th, 11am-2pm in Pandora Park at Nanaimo & Pandora (if it rains the event will shift to Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, 2425 Oxford);
  • Sunday July 29th, 11am-2pm, in Grandview Park at Commercial & Charles (if it rains they will move into Gym D at Britannia).

I’ll go along to the Grandview Park event and hope to see many of you there.


Artful Sundays on The Drive

July 24, 2012

Family At the Beach

July 24, 2012

Keeping Banks Safe For Our Money

July 23, 2012

As anyone who has read the papers or seen the news in the last few years knows, banks around the world have broken numerous serious laws, have had to be bailed out with taxpayers money, and yet still pay millions of dollars to inept executives and billions more to stockholders. Many of their problems involve their connection to complex financial transactions that do nothing but make money for already-rich individuals. There has to be a better way, and there is.

I would oblige all banks to become credit unions and I would strictly limit their functionality.

Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions cooperatively owned by their members. They operate solely for the benefit of their members rather than for outside shareholders, of whom there would be none.  Their senior management is elected by the members and their policies are offered up for approval at regular meetings of the membership. Senior management remuneration would require members’ approval. The billions of dollars that are currently paid out in dividends to outsiders would be used to increase services and lower costs for the members. Any surplus could be re-paid to the members or added to the credit union’s capital.

I would limit their functionality to the taking, managing and disbursement of members’ deposits, and to the issuance of personal loans (including credit cards) and personal mortgages.  Any member or corporation that required business loans, corporate mortgages, investments or insurance would turn to investment companies, mortgage brokers and insurance companies designed specifically for that function.

No one would be limited in their desire to engage in stock market or other investments.  But these would be handled entirely by companies separate from banks.   No longer would bank depositors’ cash be at risk in the marketplace for derivatives, for example.

Competition between credit unions, if such were needed, would become a function of service and accessibility.  I believe this would get us more branches on the streets and a more personalized service between member and bank.  It would bring banking back to the people, to a smaller scale that we can understand and control — after all, it is our money they are using.



Who Lived On The Drive in 1911

July 23, 2012

I have just posted the second part of my analysis of the 1911 Census of Commercial Drive at the Grandview Heritage Group website.  I hope you might find it interesting.

Wiggins Captures Tour de France!

July 22, 2012

The overwhelming victory by Bradley Wiggins in the 2012 edition of the Tour de France which finished in Paris today is of historic proportions.  I believe it is the greatest achievement by any British athlete since Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in 1954.

It is a victory, too, for the entire Sky team which was designed specifically to bring about this result.  The team thoroughly dominated and controlled the Tour this year and another member, Christopher Froome, took second spot on the podium this morning.  There is little doubt that, had he not been a loyal lieutenant to Wiggins, Froome could have taken the Tour victory himself, and I hope he goes on to win the Veulta d’Espana later this year.

Now, for the Brits, it is on to the Olympics where yet another Sky team member, Mark Cavendish (who won today’s stage with a brilliant finish), will be favourite for the road race gold.