Night Music: Put A Spell On You

April 30, 2015

Talk About The Community Plan!

April 30, 2015

As I have written before, we are now getting down to the nitty gritty on what seems like an endless Grandview-Woodland Community Plan process (which could have been more than a year shorter had Planning bothered to listen to people in the first place!)  Over the next week or so there are a variety of important meetings that I urge concerned residents to attend.

Required background documents for this week include the Citizens’ Assembly draft Neighbourhood-Wide Recommendations document and the CA’s proposed recommendations for the seven sub-areas of GW (which is where the real zoning and housing rubber hits the road).

Our Community, Our Plan is meeting tonight (Thursday) at 7pm at the Britannia Board Room to discuss these documents.  All interested parties should show up and make their views known.

On Monday 4th May, from 6:00pm at the Wise Hall, Boffo Developments and the Kettle will be holding an open house to try to persuade everyone that a 12-15 storey tower at Commercial and Venables is a great idea.  The CA has yet to make a final recommendation for that site, the hesitation being that a for-profit developer is hiding behind a respected local group to plunk a huge market-priced condo tower in the midst of our community.  I hope everyone comes to the Open House to let them know that, much as we support the Kettle, their plans are just wrong for the neighbourhood and there are alternatives that do not require us to sacrifice our space to a private developer.

On Tuesday 5th May at 7:00pm at the Croatian Cultural Centre, the public will get what I understand is our last chance to have any imput into the CA’s Recommendations.  This is a really important session and I urge everyone to sign up as registration is required.  We need to show up and either support or reject the ideas contained in the Recommendations in order to show Council that we care about what happens.

Finally, on Monday 11th May at 7:00pm, GWAC’s regular monthly meeting in the LRC under Britannia Library will be another fine place to register your comments on both the CA’s Recommendations and the Boffo project.

This really is important stuff, folks, and will reflect on our ‘hood for years to come.  Don’t leave it to others to decide Grandview’s future.  Make your voice heard at one or two or all of these meetings. of

See the sorry history of this community outreach debacle.

Take Back The Streets On May Day!

April 30, 2015

Streets?  Well, Commercial Drive anyway.  The 4th annual anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian street party comes to the Drive tomorrow, May 1st.

All the fun begins at 7pm at Grandview Park and at 9pm DJs and everyone else will move onto the Drive for a People’s Street Party!

This year’s May Day event is particularly important for the neighbourhood as we approach the final lap in the Planners’ attempts to gentrify our specific community, an activity that will force low-income folks from their homes and change the very nature of the hood that we love so much.

See you there!

What Is A Political Promise Really Worth?

April 29, 2015

I was interested to see this week that the Province’s “promise” to ensure that everybody in BC had a GP doctor by the end of 2015 will not be met.  As all of us in Vancouver know, this follows the abject failure of the Vision Vancouver regime to meet their “promise” to end street homelessness in the City.

Not only have these promises been broken, little or no progress has actually been made in either case: Vancouver’s homeless nu,ber in the last count was worse than the year before, and the percentage of BCers without a GP is greater today than five years ago when the promise was made. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to find other examples.

Far be it from me to suggest that these are easy issues to solve; they certainly are not.  But when are these politicians ever going to understand how they reduce the value of the word “promise” whenever they make one and fail miserably?  Moreover, the value is reduced even further — perhaps to nothing — when the people who made the promise and then failed to meet it simply shrug their shoulders and say — “Oh well, it was a grand idea. Perhaps we’ll do better in the future.”

Clearly we want our political leaders to have targets that they want to meet. But so long as they continue to confuse aspirational hopes with solid promises, we will continue to be disappointed.

Image: Ship’s Bow

April 29, 2015


Night Music: Different Drummer

April 28, 2015

The Invasion of The Dominican Republic

April 28, 2015

Fifty years ago today, in order to protect the world from “a second Cuba”, US President Lyndon Johnson — obviously not distracted enough by losing the Vietnam War — ordered the US Marines to invade that Caribbean superpower, the Dominican Republic.  Operation Power Pack was launched on April 28th, 1965 and the occupation by the imperialist forces lasted until September 1966 after a pro-Trujillo, pro-American president was elected.

About 3,000 civilians are thought to have died to save the American Empire.

Lest we forget.