We’ll Miss you, Richie!

April 23, 2013

My favourite Richie Havens song: “Sandy”

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Meadow

April 23, 2013

meadow_small

Meadow (2008), TIFF print, 36 x 30


Regional Context Statement: The Next Disaster

April 22, 2013

Vancouver’s Regional Context Statement is the development plan for the entire City for the next 25-30 years.  It will help determine the look and feel of every neighbourhood in Vancouver for generations to come.

Important, yes?  But public consultation, no!  It is coming up before City Council tomorrow, just days after the plan was made available, and — without a lot of public outrage in the meanwhile — will be approved and sent on to a Public Hearing.  Under City rules, once an item is referred to a Public Hearing, Councillors are no longer allowed to discuss it with the likes of you and me — we are silenced, until the Public Hearing.

As we know from long experience with Vision’s administration, Public Hearings are not designed to change the already-agreed policy.  They are a forum where, under very strict guidelines, we are allowed to vent our frustrations for no more than five minutes, and no debate with Councillors is allowed unless they ask questions.  These are public relations exercises, nothing more.  The policy has already been set.

Our only chance to challenge either the content of the Statement or the process under which it is being forced upon us, is to write to mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca by 9:00am tomorrow.  Yes, 9:00am Tuesday 23rd April.  These are the kind of timelines that Vision uses to avoid any public consultation.

My own email read as follows:

“Like many of the residents I speak with every day in Grandview Woodland, I am shocked and outraged that Council is planning to move such an important policy as the Regional Context Statement to a Public Hearing without any opportunity for communities such as ours to question either the content of the Statement or the process being used to force it upon us.

I am obliged to note the impotence of previous “public hearings” to change the mind of decisions already taken by Council and its staff.   This entire process is a hijacking of democratic procedure.

I urge Mayor and Council to delay putting this issue to Public Hearing, and thus to allow interested parties to bring their concerns to Council and staff within a reasonable timeframe.”

If you get a chance tonight or early in the morning, please fire off your own version.


The Pleasure of Community

April 21, 2013

Went out today for an early-ish morning meeting, on a Sunday.  Of course, the place we agreed to meet at decided not to open up that early, so we found ourselves in the comfortable surroundings of Fets for our coffee klatsch.

The five of us had some interesting matters to plan, to discuss, and, thank goodness, we were not all in agreement about everything, so the discussion stayed lively and on point.  It is such a pleasure when a diverse group of people — some with extremely divergent political and social views — can conduct themselves in their differences with good humour and good spirit, and arrive at a workable consensus.

Makes getting up early on a Sunday a real joy.


Earth Day On the Drive

April 20, 2013

It was a beautiful, if somewhat windy, day to celebrate Earth Day on Commercial Drive.

I missed the parade (due to an urgent need to go to Skylight for breakfast), but I strolled over to the Park (having no choice other than to walk up the hill as the buses — with ecological solidarity, I guess — were diverted from the Drive).

Power

 

There was a goodly crowd when I was there even though it was just getting started after the parade. I wonder how many Earth Day afficionados were downtown at the 420 which was on at the same time.

 

earth crowd

 

The Park also hosted a number of booths and stands with all the folks you would expect to be there.  I am glad we can offer them such a fine location in our neighbourhood.

I was interested to see that while the Daily Catch food truck was there, in its usual weekend spot by the Park, they were not open and serving at noon.  Seemed odd to me given the number of people milling around. Perhaps it was the wrong kind of crowd for an expensive paper plate of fish and chips, no matter how sustainable.


Creating a Future for Heritage

April 19, 2013

Last night, in the pouring rain, a good selection of Grandview residents turned out for the monthly Grandview Heritage Group meeting.  We had great discussions about heritage houses, the Shelly’s 4X sign on the Via Tevere Restaurant, and a wonderful presentation about heritage house framing systems.

If you missed it, that’s a shame.  But there’s another one next month!


6th Avenue Elms

April 19, 2013

elms on 6th

These beautiful trees were just hanging out in the Spring sunshine.