One Day He’ll Win A Nobel Prize

October 29, 2013

Some while ago I shared a poem by Shane Koyczan.  Here is another brilliant performance by him. This time he is accompanied perfectly by violinist Hannah Epperson.

This is simply brilliant work and so far from simple.  I honestly believe he is already building up a body of work that one day will deserve the Nobel Prize for Literature.  I hope I get to see that and to muse out loud that, both honoured and horrified at my own presumption, I shared performance poetry stages with him back in the late 1990s. We so rarely get to know real genius, and he is the real thing.

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Guess What?

October 29, 2013

It’s my birthday — and the Beatles wrote a song for me!

I’m a lucky lad!


RIP Lou Reed

October 27, 2013

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The glorious Lou Reed is dead.

It is hard to say enough of what he achieved through his influence. He was truly one of the giants of music in the twentieth century.  “The Velvet Underground and Nico” was an extraordinary revelation of what music could be.

My favourite quote of his about his guitar style: “”One chord is fine, Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”


Densification — What’s The Rush?

October 26, 2013

The Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy anticipates that Vancouver will see an increase of 130,000 people in the thirty years from 2011. I’m not good at math, but that seems to be about 4,350 people per year.

It is the increase of 130,000 that the City says obliges the massive densification plans they have.

However, according to the Vancouver City Planning Department’s own figures, the number of new housing units approved or proposed in just two years between 2011 and today is already 21,000.  If we assume conservatively that two people live in each unit, then we have already taken care of 42,000 people — 25% of the entire increase required over thirty years — in just two years!

What’s the rush?

I can only guess that the developers don’t want to wait thirty years to cash in, that their bottom lines are more important than the City’s actual needs, that they are concerned a pro-development Council majority might disappear soon.


**** Hazard Warning ****

October 25, 2013

 

Life is delayed due to the flu.


Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

October 24, 2013

After a summer of rapidly deteriorating relationship between the City of Vancougver and its neighbourhoods about planning, land use and rezoning, and after many weeks of effort to establish an alternative, the new Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods has announced itself with the following media release:

 Vancouver Communities Unite to Fix Planning Mess: Residents’ Associations Seek Meaningful Involvement

Vancouver, B.C. – Eighteen community residents’ associations, covering almost the entire City of Vancouver, have now joined together in a Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods with the specific purpose of demanding a more respectful relationship between the City and the communities. “The Coalition is working on creating a new development/planning paradigm that will stress community involvement and local influence over land use and zoning decisions,” said spokesperson Jak King.

This coming together follows the summer of our discontent. Virtually every neighbourhood in Vancouver has suffered through the disaster that is development and “community engagement” under the present planning process.

Whether it is the failed Community Plans in Marpole, Grandview-Woodland, the West End and Downtown Eastside, or specific developments around False Creek, the Pearson lands in South Vancouver, the Rize and other projects in Mount Pleasant, the “downtownification” of Oakridge, and the overriding of community opinion in Norquay, the outrage expressed by the affected communities has been the same.

In each and every case, residents have been refused genuine involvement and influence over decision-making. Even in the few cases where residents have been allowed a form of consultation, such as in the Mount Pleasant Implementation, their positions have been ignored or curtailed or both.  “We have witnessed public hearings where hundreds of people have vocally and loudly opposed developments only to see City Council vote in support of the developers,” noted Fern Jeffries. “This has squandered the time and energy residents have put into engaging with these proposals.”

“We hope that the City will quickly recognize that something is badly broken in the way they engage with communities and return to the concept of community-based planning that was so successful in building Vancouver,” said King. The Coalition will work together to support individual neighbourhoods in their disputes over unacceptable planning decisions and proposals.

The disenfranchisement of neighbourhoods must end. The Coalition will not accept with equanimity any more faux “engagement” circuses in which “consultation” produces nothing but disappointment and damaged communities.  Communities demand genuine involvement and the right of local residents to have the highest level of influence over the future of their own communities.


The Fleet In Fog

October 24, 2013

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