Developers To Decide “Affordability”

February 5, 2014

You might recall that Vision’s majority decided that $1,450/month was an “affordable” price for a tiny studio apartment.

In response to West End Neighbours (WEN) lawsuit against Vancouver City Council’s Rental100 program of giveaways to developers, the City changed the By-Law just slightly — to give developers even more say in what constitutes “affordable”.  This bizarre event has caused WEN to push forward with their lawsuit, which I cover in more detail elsewhere.

As WEN Director, Virginia Richards said, “The City isn’t helping renters. It’s helping developers. “Affordable rental housing” is basically whatever City staff and developers say it is.”

More on Patricia Salmond

February 5, 2014

I have already reported on the sudden and sad death of Patricia Salmond who ran the Urban Empire kitsch store.  Now there is a lovely article in the Courier about her and how her daughters are dealing with their loss.

“The sisters said the outpouring from the community has been overwhelming and they consider it a testament to their mother’s attitude towards others. After word of Patricia’s death spread along the Drive, friends and acquaintances began leaving flowers at the door.  A memorial book was set up outside, but since the store is now open weekends, it’s been moved inside. While some messages refer to Patricia’s black sense of humour, others are more poignant. David Harkens started the book off with a heartfelt message that read in part, “She is greatly missed, forever cherished and her spirit will always be by my side…”

In the interview, the sisters confirmed there will be a public memorial, probably in April.

England’s Folly

February 5, 2014

kevin_pietersenWe interrupt our normal schedule to report on a crisis in cricket.

The best cricketer that England has produced in more than a generation was fired from the team yesterday.  Kevin Pieterson is the highest scoring run maker for England in all forms of the game over the past decade. As George Dobell writes:

“It is no coincidence that Kevin Pietersen’s international career has run concurrent with England’s greatest period of success for at least 50 years.”

Yes, he is an egotist and he can be bombastic, but that is what feeds his great success.  In Canadian terms, this is like keeping Sydney Crosby off the Canada team because we don’t like the way he tells jokes.  In both cases, the result will be a far weaker team.

“England supporters deserve answers. It is unacceptably arrogant to dismiss their legitimate interest with an evasive media statement. It is unacceptable to discard England’s highest international run-scorer without explaining exactly why the management believe the team will be stronger without him.”

We are losing the best player we have got and yet we are keeping  a captain who failed so publicly with both bat and leadership in the most disastrous series ever against Australia.  Stupid and ridiculous decision-making at the top of English cricket don’t help our cause.

Some commentators who support the dumping of Pieterson because of his attitude bring out that most foolish of statements: “There is no I in team.”  Maybe not, but there is a hell of a lot of I in win.

Now, back to normal programming.


February 5, 2014

Diner Waitress


The waitress at the county’s

favourite luncheonette counter

swings and sings

the songs of the sixties


“She walks like an angel,

talks like an angel”


jiving and gesturing with the farmers

and truckers and travelers

flashing her eyes

delivering pies a la mode


“In Dreams, you’re mine,

All of the time”


dancing and prancing to mothers

and all kinds of others

soothing and smoothing

and smooching and cooing


“Mashed potato, yeah, yeah, yeah

The mashed potato, yeah, yeah, yeah”


passing the work day with nary a cloud

of concern no matter the crowd

that packs in the cafe

each afternoon.