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Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'

Reading the smoke signals: The viaducts will be coming down

July 23rd, 2015 · 64 Comments

There’s been no official announcement or news release or staff report yet, but it looks as though the city is headed to a vote on taking the viaducts down, with planners and engineers recommending it, after having gone out and dug up all the new information council asked for two years ago. As my story […]

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Metro Vancouver moves to Stage 3 water restrictions: What creative strategies are you using to save water?

July 21st, 2015 · 100 Comments

I worked on commercial fishing boats for six seasons, in my 20s, where water was a precious thing. We sometimes went out for two or more weeks, knowing we had to survive on the water in the tank. We turned off the tap when brushing our teeth, except for the brief wetting between scrubs, re-used […]

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The post-plebiscite transit mess: Surrey, Vancouver look to self-financing, mayors’ council on verge of blowing up

July 16th, 2015 · 27 Comments

In the aftermath of the resounding no in the transit plebiscite, yes, it’s a mess out there. Mayors are looking at self-financing their big projects in Surrey and Vancouver. (And even Delta is considering using its own money to run some needed buses.) Senior execs are being fired at TransLink, and there are calls for […]

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Are you now, or have you ever been, an economist?

July 10th, 2015 · 40 Comments

A short, funny, thoughtful read here. The “but you’re not an economist” line gets thrown around a lot. Its purpose is simple: discredit the target and imply that their views should be ignored. And a typical dictionary definition here.    

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What do other Australian academics think of the role of foreign investment in crazy-high real-estate prices?

July 9th, 2015 · 2 Comments

I quoted two Australian academics on the topic in my May story. But are these two out of step with everyone else, renegades who don’t understand the stats? There are, of course, many media stories and various experts saying foreign investment is having a huge impact. But there are also many, like Philip Soos and […]

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What kind of housing should young families in Vancouver be able to get?

July 9th, 2015 · 62 Comments

What is a reasonable price for a young family to have to pay in this city for housing? It’s a topic that frequently gets muddled in the news, as the rising price of west-side houses sets off a dynamite trail of news stories about how young families are being forced out of the city. But, […]

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Our nasty housing debate and the fight over who is an expert

July 8th, 2015 · 30 Comments

This is going to be a longer post than my usual, so my excuses in advance, but I feel it’s important to address in detail a recent South China Morning Post item that impugns the credibility of someone I quoted and is also indicative of an ugly and unproductive debate that is happening in Vancouver. […]

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We aren’t moving into the bears’ habitat. They’re moving into ours. So are the coyotes and everything else.

July 7th, 2015 · 2 Comments

I was inspired to write this story because of my own dealings with the critter invasion. Like Sheila and Carol in this story, I feel like life has become a non-stop low-level battle against wildlife. I’ve had much of it, though not (I’ve discovered thankfully) rats eating my car wires. But rats elsewhere (one strolled […]

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Surrey looks at how to come up with $30-40 million a year for its light rail while other cities flail post-plebsicite

July 7th, 2015 · No Comments

And now, amid the rubble post-vote, mayors are trying to figure out what next. In Surrey, Linda Hepner says at least half of the light-rail project is going to be built by 2018. That’s a tall order. Everyone keeps blathering about private-public partnerships, but those private partners do not donate money. So Surrey would need […]

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What do the transit plebiscite results actually mean?

July 6th, 2015 · 80 Comments

Oh dear. I come back from Paris, a transit paradise, to this: 62-38 vote against funding new transit through the sales tax. I have to say, I was surprised by the results. Not that it was No, but that the numbers were so far apart — that means that in months of campaigning, with bus […]

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