Food Photographs of the Year

April 30, 2020

Earlier this week, the winners of the Pink Lady Food Photography awards were announced.  The overall winner was:

K.M. Asad: After Exodus

My favourites are:

Zay Yar Lin: Vegetable Stall


K.M. Asad: Making Together


Night Music: Rolling In The Deep

April 30, 2020

Let’s Talk Transit

April 30, 2020

At lunchtime today I attended a Zoom conference put on by SFU Public Square to discuss the state of transit in the Lower Mainland, now and after the virus crisis. There were about 200 participants and it was valuable to hear a great many points of view along with some technical background. These are some notes from that meeting without my editorialising.

The Translink system usually carries about 500,000 riders per day; current daily ridership is down to 75,000.  Forecasts are for the system to lose about $600 million this year due to the 83% fall in ridership and a 60% drop in gas tax revenues caused by the reduction in car travel. It was noted that the US government has allocated $25 billion for transit assistance during the crisis, while the Canadian government has not supplied any additional funding. It was remarked that it is “embarrassing” to see the US funding what is an essential social service more liberally than Canada. Of immediate concern is that transit services — unlike for-profit airlines, for example — are not eligible for the Payroll relief programs put in place by Ottawa and Victoria. Translink urges everyone to contact their MLAs and MPs for more transit funding.

Dr Bonnie Henry’s conclusion that there is no evidence of virus transmission on transit was noted. However, some transit workers on the call reminded everyone that transit workers have died from the virus in London, New York, and elsewhere.

Asked about the effect of the crisis on the Broadway line, Translink said that the project was being managed by the Provincial government (rather than them, I guess) and that it seems to be proceeding.  However, some doubts were expressed given the depth of the crisis-driven fiscal issues facing both Translink and the senior governments.

Just about everyone agreed that transit is a key factor in the re-opening of the economy. This was stressed several times and by multiple participants. Transit are working on the assumption that a surge in ridership will come in September with the re-opening of schools and colleges, but that depends on the progress of the virus. There will be no fare increases for the balance of this year.

A bus driver, I believe, was asked how we can show our support for the work they are doing right now. A simple “Thank you!” as one gets on and off the bus would be welcomed and appreciated.

The American Nightmare

April 30, 2020

Forty-five years ago today, the US Army fled Vietnam, in helicopters, from the roof of the US Embassy in what was then called Saigon.


After the death of almost 60,000 Americans, 55,000 French, and millions of Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians, the West’s thirty years of colonial and imperial warfare in South-east Asia — including the greatest and most vicious use of chemical and biological weapons ever seen — crashed to a bitter and humiliating end.

The victory of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese was called the end of America’s nightmare. It certainly was a bad dream for American imperialism, but the real nightmare was what the local populations had had to suffer for so many decades.

Grandview 30th April 1920

April 30, 2020

Province, 19200430, p.28

In 1919, Alf Higgins and E. Daniel Manhart opened an auto service business at 1136 Commercial.  By 1920, Manhart had gone and the business was renamed Commercial Drive Garage. In 1922, Higgins purchased the southwest corner lot at Commercial & Venables and erected a building for their business that, under Higgins and then his son, Alf jr, would remain in operation until 1988.

Alf Higgins and his wife arrived in Canada in 1910 and moved to Vancouver in 1918. From the 1920s to the early 1950s, he was a leading figure in Grandview business and politics, being elected president of the Chamber of Commerce on numerous occasions.


All previous Grandview 1920 clippings

German Nature Photography 2020

April 29, 2020

The German Society for Nature Photography (GDT) has selected its Nature Photographer of the Year 2020.  The winner was this:

Peter Lindel – A Hare’s Dream

My favourites were:

Flurin Leugger – Takeoff. A coyote panics geese


Benjain Waldmann – Magic Light


Image: Bird’s Breakfast #1

April 29, 2020

Grandview 29th April 1920

April 29, 2020

Vancouver Sun, 19200429, p.14


All previous Grandview 1920 clippings

Night Music: Dionne Warwick

April 28, 2020

Grandview 28th April 1920

April 28, 2020

Vancouver Sun, 19200428, p.2

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings

The Invasion of The Dominican Republic

April 28, 2020

Fifty-five 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.

When The Greatest Became The Greatest

April 28, 2020

Fifty-three years ago today, heavyweight champion of the world Muhammed Ali appeared at a draft induction centre. He had previously announced that he was a conscientious objector and he was arrested after three times refusing to step forward when his name was called.

Later that afternoon, the New York boxing authorities stripped Ali of his titles, and Ali would be unable to get a boxing license in the US for several years thereafter.

Throughout this attempt at humiliation and persecution by the system, Ali’s fierce personal integrity stayed proud and loud. He was eventually vindicated and was allowed to be the great athlete that he was.

Image: Gai Lan Emergent

April 27, 2020

Grandview 27th April 1920

April 27, 2020

Vancouver Sun, 19200427, p.11

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings

Poem: Do Not Go Gently

April 27, 2020

By Dylan Thomas. For my Dad.

Night Music: More Than A Woman

April 26, 2020

Grandview 26th April 1920

April 26, 2020

Vancouver World, 19200426, p.4

The victim, Mr. Willgress, was a fur dresser. He had moved to the West End by the following year


All previous Grandview 1920 clippings

Chronicles of the Plague Year #8

April 25, 2020

A few months ago we got a new dishwasher.  Last week it stopped working.  Normally, the landlord’s plumber/electrician guy would come by and fix it the next day. However, because it is new and therefore under warranty, we had to call the supplier’s repair agent. “It will be in a week,” they said.  “Can’t you come sooner?” I asked.  “No, there’s a medical crisis going on you know. By the way, have you or anyone close to you got covid-19 symptoms?”

So, for the first time in perhaps 25 years, we have been washing up in the old-fashioned way. To be honest, I find it quite pleasant, messing about in a sink full of warm soapy water. The Everloving not so much. Oh well, it should be fixed on Tuesday — maybe.

I went shopping on the Drive today, and looked in to show support for the People’s Co-op Bookstore that is opening on weekends. I also took some time to notice that something less than 20% of folks were wearing masks in grocery stores. It’s bloody selfish, ignoring the needs of those working there and other shoppers.

On the way home, I rested for a while in Salsbury Park and was entranced as usual by the blossoms that seem to have engulfed the trees almost overnight. The park is covered in dandelions which make a wonderful counterpoint to the trees. I hope the Parks folks with their grass-grazing machines stay away for a while.

As I sat there, a guy in shorts and T-shirt started doing sprints up Adanac Hill, from the Park to Victoria. He would run hard up the hill, walk back down, and run again. He kept at it for quite a while.  I imagined a thick sweaty miasma surrounding him, following him up and down the hill, hanging around for others to breathe.  Healthy for him, maybe, but for the rest of us?

Another week almost done. How many more, I wonder?

Dandelions and Blossoms, Shadows and Sunshine

April 25, 2020

Today Salsbury Park was resplendent with the beauty of late spring.

Select image for a much better view.

Image: Na Pali Coast

April 25, 2020