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Vancouver stages good-news presser about Olympic Village debt, but raises a dust storm of questions about numbers

April 29th, 2014 · 30 Comments

As those of you who were on Twitter yesterday know, there was a lot of uproar at Vancouver city hall yesterday as journalists tried to make sense of the numbers swirling around like a meteor shower as the mayor and city manager attempted to make the case that the city had turned the Olympic village […]

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Do you want to know what’s going to happen with the Vancouver Art Gallery’s pitch to move to a new site? Read this for some clues

March 14th, 2013 · 115 Comments

When VAG director Kathleen Bartels made her pitch in late January to an international and local panel assessing whether the City of Vancouver should give the gallery the right to build on the last open block in downtown — a piece of city land — I was there. Sort of. (No, not right in the […]

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The latest twitch in the community centre-Adriane Carr-Penny Ballem-whatever schmozzle: Mayor tries to calm things down

February 19th, 2013 · 76 Comments

Chapter 43. BTW, I hear that the park board and associations have selected a mediator and were starting talks yesterday.

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City-Millennium bargaining went to deadline on how much developer should hand over besides Oly village

November 17th, 2010 · 57 Comments

Here’s my more complete story in the Globe on what transpired today (and the days leading up to it) related to the Olympic village moving into receivership. But these 700 words have a hard time capturing everything that has been happening in this incredibly complex deal. (A sample of how badly it’s going to be […]

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Vancouver hires “change manager” as it struggles with employee backlash

September 23rd, 2010 · 24 Comments

Vancouver city hall continues to be a workplace under stress. News broke earlier that the non-union staff had issued a memo outlining their concerns about the new style of management. While I know there are some people who are really enjoying working with new city manager Penny Ballem — they like her directness, willingness to […]

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New park board chief plucked from Ontario

July 19th, 2010 · 13 Comments

I just had this internal notice from the city passed on to me: From: COV Broadcast Server To: All Staff (COV) – DL Sent: Mon Jul 19 14:16:17 2010 Subject: COV Broadcast: Announcement of New General Manager of Parks and Recreation (from Park Board Chair, Aaron Jasper and City Manager, Penny Ballem) The Chair of […]

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Garbage pick-up gets a makeover in Vancouver

July 16th, 2010 · 21 Comments

When Vancouver city manager Penny Ballem started talking about reorganizing the city last year to make it more efficient, I heard a lot from people inside city hall saying saying everyone knew there were things that needed to be fixed, but no one had ever had the jam to actually take action. Too hard to […]

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UFC, yes. Smaller mixed martial arts events in Vancouver, not looking good

July 14th, 2010 · 5 Comments

Chris Parry at the Vancouver Sun wrote about this earlier and I followed up this week to see whether there’s any likelihood that the city’s UFC event would pave the way for future MMA bouts. Apparently not, because any other events would likely be put on by smaller promoters and no one sees a way […]

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City manager’s bike stolen from city hall

May 21st, 2010 · 28 Comments

I ran into Penny Ballem at Bob Rennie’s UDI speech at the Hotel Vancouver yesterday and was surprised when she waved a booklet of bus tickets, saying they were her way of getting around these days. I’ve only ever seen her on her bike until now. What happened, I wanted to know, thinking perhaps she’d […]

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Concord Pacific land assessment to be checked

May 5th, 2010 · 28 Comments

Mike Howell at the Courier has been on the case this week about why the big tract of land that Concord Pacific owns in the northeast corner of False Creek has been valued so low in land assessments, i.e. only $400,000 — less than the value of an average 33 X 120 lot in the […]

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