Sometimes The Mayor Gets It Right

May 31, 2016

Regular readers will know that I am not a big fan of Mayor Gregor Robertson. However, once in a while, he — or rather his extensive “communications staff” — come up with something we can all agree with.

In a response in The Walrus, the Mayor takes on Kerry Gold’s piece of last week “The Highest Bidder“.  His main point is that there are a lot of reasons for Vancouver’s stratospheric housing market and we shouldn’t be blaming just the offshore Chinese investors. One would have to make up one’s own mind as to whether one believes his defence or not.

In a section on how we got to this state of affairs, Mayor Robertson makes a serious point:

“Planning decisions … that prioritized condo towers over townhomes and row houses have resulted in a lack of choice available to today’s buyers.”

I guess it is too much to hope that Boffo Properties will take that warning to heart and decide on pursuing a community-friendly alternative to their ghastly tower proposal for Commercial & Venables.

Advertisements

Image: Coaster #5

May 31, 2016

Coaster 5_small


Calling All Renters!

May 31, 2016

gwac meeting


Night Music: My Generation

May 30, 2016

If these didn’t play so well, they would have been the true pre-punk punks.


Poem: Martyr

May 30, 2016

 

He had long ago accepted the loss as permanent,

but that acceptation was merely a gloss, as yet skin deep,

 

not yet having bled into the very marrow of his being,

nor led him to that place of serenity.

 

His bitterness lay as deep as the roots of cedar in shale,

following tracks as distant and serpentine as the staged attacks

 

of true hackers working their miraculous juju through the internet

ether, and forever ending in a sad soiled grace.

 

And, though he could choose to confuse his loneliness with tragedy –

as if he were the sainted prophet of his own persecuted

 

exarchate in exile — it was but loneliness nonetheless,

and it hurt as bad as the arrows of martyrdom.

 

 


How Totalitarianism Works

May 30, 2016

In a well-argued piece on his blog yesterday, COPE’s Tim Louis writes about the public hearing so disastrously chaired by Clr. Raymond Louie about the Cresswell development on Commercial & 18th in Cedar Cottage. This was always going to be a divisive hearing about an important issue concerning development on arterial roads.  Activists from Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours and from across the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods network had been discussing the hearing for some time before the event.

At the hearing, most resident speakers spoke against the development, and Louie made decisions as chair that clearly breached common sense and the City’s Procedure By-Law. In the end, the three NPA Councillors along with Green Clr. Adrianne Carr stormed out of the hearing, bringing it to a close due to lack of quorum. Joseph Jones has reported some of the goings on. Oddly, this was the first hearing in living memory when Vision Vancouver had failed to show up with a majority (the Mayor and three others were missing). There was something fishy going on from the off.

Tim Louis’s point in his post today is the Vision regime’s handling of public participation in public hearings has deteriorated over the years, and this anti-democratic behaviour is now institutionalized in the rules of Procedure passed by that same Vision majority.

It is these same anti-community rules that will constrain the way Grandview residents will be able to formally challenge the Boffo Tower proposal and, even more importantly, the redrafted Grandview Community Plan later this year.

It is from a series of such seemingly innocuous (by themselves) administrative changes that totalitarianism is made to work. They beat you down not with the barrel of the gun but with the letter of the law.


Image: Flower Offering

May 29, 2016

Flower Offering_blog