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Christmas break free-for-all: What kind of city was Vancouver, what kind of metro region did we evolve to, in 2012?

December 19th, 2012 · 158 Comments

In case no one guessed, I’m pretty much in full-time baking mode here with occasional forays into the outside world to discover what new commercial enterprises have opened and closed since last Christmas. A few heart-warming stories to come over the holidays but I’m going to go into low gear until after New Year’s Day here.

As always, this is your space now to start whatever conversation you want in our little colloquium of urbanistas.

Categories: Uncategorized

158 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Julia // Dec 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    3 cheers for someone that still does baking! Have a wonderful Christmas, Frances.

  • 2 Dan Cooper // Dec 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! (As long as it doesn’t stop the trains!)

    On my relatively short bicycle commute this morning I passed five or six other cyclists, which actually isn’t too much less than I might pass any morning as I generally avoid the 10th Ave/Ontario routes. Just a couple years ago I would see maybe only one other cyclist when it was snowing.

  • 3 neil21 // Dec 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Merry Christmas, Frances: thanks for a fun year!

  • 4 Bill Lee // Dec 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    What!
    You didn’t leave your recipe for the 38 pound turkey!

    Have a good time off, if slaving over a hot stove/oven is time off.
    —- Colloquia
    Can the Fire Departments also be made regional as the Police Departments proposal?
    Would the Fire Departments ever allow parity with women memebers?

    Would hockey riots in central Vancouver be better contained with a Regional Police department? And can we get more social workers than sworn officers in the Department.
    And is there a need to have any officer armed at all?

  • 5 Rf // Dec 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Apparently if it snows, it will be a city where Oak Street will be an unplowed parking lot. Meanwhile, 3 trucks were dedicated to keeping the bike lanes clear (“priority derivative from city hall”). The operations chief appeared to be biting his tongue while explaining that. It was a look of embarrassment while admitting it!
    On the plus side, a Portlandia episode was written without needing to brainstorm for ideas.

  • 6 Rf // Dec 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    “directive”

  • 7 Threadkiller // Dec 20, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Re “commercial enterprises”: At least six bookstores closed in Vancouver in 2012 that I know of, and another one is about to. It’s becoming an increasingly difficult struggle for the survivors, and, indeed, for small independent retailers in general. Meanwhile, the chain stores are doing just fine. I think that this says a lot more about the kind of city this is becoming than a good many other indicators.

  • 8 motorcycleguy // Dec 20, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I am a born and raised Vancouverite….”evolved” is not a word that comes to mind describing what has happend to our city.

  • 9 bablu1 // Dec 20, 2012 at 8:50 am

    If we get a regional police force, can we also get some form of regional government?
    The system we have now ain’t working. How can we have a compact and sustainable region if some of the municipalities just giggle and pay lip service to the Regional Growth Strategy? Burnabystan and Delta Mississippi are two of the major offenders.
    We’ve evolved into a region of, in many cases, narrow municipal self interests.
    I wish the province would ‘kick some ass’ , but they won’t and the next government won’t either.

  • 10 Warren // Dec 20, 2012 at 9:40 am

    @Dan #2

    Being a regular bicycle commuter, I’ve tried cycling in freezing conditions and had a few bails, so I avoid the cold/ice/snow days now. I’m surprised how many people I see out there. With 2 wheels, losing traction on 1 can be a pretty big problem.

  • 11 MB // Dec 20, 2012 at 10:05 am

    @ biker 7:

    ….”evolved” is not a word that comes to mind describing what has happend to our city.

    Thanks for bringing Vancouver’s inadequate snowstorm preparedness to our attention. And for reminding some of us that Vancouver is quite well evolved, thank you, to those who moved here from less evolved places, like Missisauga, Calgary or Bamako.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/world/africa/wave-of-violent-repression-plagues-capital-of-mali.html?_r=0

    *

    For the Christmas holidays we’ve got a selection of DVDs lined up, from the Beatles Anthology to a couple of Ken Burns’ series on the history of jazz and New York City.

    For fishatarians, we’ve discovered that baked wild sockeye salmon goes very well with all the turkey trimmin’s like canberry sauce, garlic rosemary potaoes and sage stuffing (made separately).

    Now I’m getting hungry …

    Happy holidays!

  • 12 Silly Season // Dec 20, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Best of the season to you, Frances!

    Hope all your digits are in working order—rolling out dough takes all your faculties and body parts.

    @Bill Lee #4

    Frances may not want to part with her recipe, but here is the best brining recipre I have tried, from the Sun;s Randy Shore. Juiciest, most tender bird — and I’ve been cooking ‘em for 25 yeras. Who needs deep frying?!

    http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/10/06/how-to-brine-your-turkey-the-green-man-way/

    As for stuffing—and most sacred holiday dish if ever theie was one– you will not beat the Double Stuffed Turkey recipe from the Bon Appetit’s ‘Dinner Party Cookbook’, 1983, by Knapp Press. You will probably find used books on the web, Amazon.

    Or, Barbara Jo’s ‘Books to Cooks’, on West 2nd Ave can likely rustle one up for you

    PS. The addition of turnip, is the magical ingredient that gives your gravy the colour and ‘oomph’ it needs.

  • 13 Raingurl // Dec 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Bakes wild sockeye salmon sounds great but not for Christmas! LOL……. Where were you born an island? Oh wait, I was too! haha………..but I still would be very angry if I was served salmon on December 25.

    ….”evolved” is not a word that comes to mind describing what has happend to our city…..yeah, it’s an outright embarrassment telling people I am from Vancouver, BC. I’m almost ready to stop correcting them when they say OH, Vancouver, Washington! (a seemingly healthy 20 something guy standing outside Pacific Centre with a better umbrella than mine just now asked me to buy him breakfast. I lost it. Normally I wouldn’t but I am trying to get dinner on the table for 10 in less than a week. OMG, I told him to get a job and that he knows better.) I should have told him to go a few blocks east and see what happens when you stay on the street too long……) this city sucks. What is taking city hall so long to help the needy?

  • 14 Raingurl // Dec 20, 2012 at 11:23 am

    and why the hell are we blue collars expected to buck up on the street and feel guilty when we can’t!? The feds, the Province and the municipality should be taxing the rich to feed the poor. Hey, I should be Robynne Hood. hehe.

  • 15 Raingurl // Dec 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

    and since we’re talking turkey, why not find a copy of Joe’s Notebook. You know you’re from Vancouver Island if you know who Joe is………..

    http://www.bcradiohistory.com/Biographies/JoeEasingwood.htm

  • 16 MB // Dec 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    @ Raingurrrl, I live with a salmon-loving vegetarian. Life could be more complicted. But I have to admit, I really miss the turkey.

    And I sympathize with your sympathies on street demanders. I never give out cash, but you know, there’s no harm in having a couple or three Timmy’s certificates in your pocket to give away to those who appear just as wanting, but are less in-your-face.

  • 17 Raingurl // Dec 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    @MB, I could not give up my turkey. My mouth has been watering for days. Everywhere I go I see turkey wings. hehe.

    Street demanders, that’s a new one! Quite appropriate too.

    Timmy’s card, not a bad idea. :)

    Merry Christmas to you and your salmon loving veg! :)

  • 18 Bill Lee // Dec 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Turkey!
    You haven’t tried Windsor Meats’ “Turducken”!
    They explain on their web page how the assemble the three birds stuffed into each other.
    Windsor Quality Meats
    http://windsorqualitymeats.com/how-to-make-a-turducken/ – Přeložit tuto stránku
    4110 Main Street Vancouver, B.C.

    But this is a time of year when many Europeans here will flock to Chinese fishmongers such as Pender Seafood, 284 Pender Street East at Gore for carp (Cyprinus carpio).

    Nowadays, there are stores (T&T in numerous places like First and Renfrew streets, or Keefer street, or Metrotown) where you can buy live carp.

    You take it home, put it in the bath tub (fresh water fish). Make a pet of it and then kill and eat it for Christmas. Or not.
    Traditional Czech Christmas Eve dinner is thick soup of carp’s head and offal, fried carp meat with potato salad or boiled carp in black sauce. In some Czech families, the carp is not killed, but after Christmas returned to a river or pond.

    Most central European countries have Xmas day for churches but nothing else, and Sylvester, New Year’s Eve is the bigger festive occassion.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year%27s_Eve#Europe

  • 19 Bill Lee // Dec 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    @Rf // Dec 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm #5

    Sometimes clearing bike paths makes it worse.
    Tenth Avenue bike route (from Trafalgar in Kits east to Victoria drive) is horrible, dangerous and disgusting.
    Rather than give bikes a lane on 12th avenue (the busy parallel street), they let the cyclists be doored by parked cars, Both sides of the street, slip on wet, or icy leaves (heavily treed).
    Then to make it worse, they plow the damned street to create weeks-long ice mounds that continuously drain into the street and freeze into ice sheet every night.
    And the nights are long.

    Better they should give routes on treeless streets (very many) and not draw insane straight lines across the city.

    Calgary, the brightest city in the West, provides snow clearing services on 280 kilometres of the pathway network.
    Note that Calgary’s Pathway system is approximately 700 km in length, of that, 280 km are cleared of snow.
    More here: calgary.ca/CSPS/Parks/Pages/Pathways/Snow-clearing.aspx

    And spend one of your Calgary Sun paywall freebies to read
    http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/10/03/city-makes-calgarys-icy-bike-lanes-among-top-priorities-for-winter-snow-clearing

  • 20 Jak King // Dec 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    We would be a far more civilized city if, upon a snow warning, an official day off was declared for all those who wanted it. No guilt about trying to get to work, no additional illnesses for being out in the bad weather, far fewer street accidents. If a city cannot survive a couple of days without services in order to give folks this break then we are badly organized and need to think again.

  • 21 Roger Kemble // Dec 21, 2012 at 3:40 am

    What kind of city was Vancouver? Asks our Fanny Bula.

    Well I can only speak from my own experience. I arrived at the Douglas Border crossing around 11.00 pm on the evening of May 23, 1951.

    Because of currency restrictions I had run out of ready cash crossing the US in a Greyhound bus. I had a small sterling nest egg that I could tap at the Bank of Montreal on Granville the next day but that entailed going thru the “gone-broke” UK cash-out ritual.

    Any way Mr. Hughes, the immigration official at the border, saw my problem and gave me C$2.00. Then when I got into the bus station the bus driver, Bob McGrath from Bellingham, staked me to a night in the Alcaza hotel until I could get to the bank in the morning. (Whatever happened to the Doug Shadbolt wall mural gracing the hotel’s coffee shop wall?).

    I returned a few weeks later to repay Mr. Hughes: he’d forgotten who I was so I assume he extends his generosity often.

    At the B of M the loans officer, Alan Spooner, befriended me and introduced me to his circle of friends.

    That summer was glorious even though forest fires were raging across the province and the evening sky from English Bay sky was red-hot red and as beautiful a spectacle I have ever seen.

    I bought a Flattie sail boat and, with my new found friends, sailed, following the CN steamer booze cruise every Saturday night to the Bowen Island dances: we slept on the beach.

    I had a brief fling with Bowenna, as she called herself, an islander, that soon petered out.

    After that I spent the summer in the bush counting trees, camping out in Scuzzy and Yoho, stung by wasps and tattooed by devil’s club.

    And you ask, Fanny, what Vancouver was like? I’d say pretty warm and welcoming back then.

    I dunno about now!

  • 22 Brian // Dec 21, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Bill #17:

    I have to disagree with you on 10th there. even on such a narrow street, there is plenty of room between the door zones for multiple cyclists. I have fallen on ice once on a night ride, but it could happen anywhere. I’ve never had a problem with leaves despite riding on skiny road bike tires. For two years I rode almost the full length of the bike lane to and from work everyday and said a thank each time I passed City Hall. I find 10th to be among the finest bike lanes in the city.

  • 23 Brian // Dec 21, 2012 at 8:54 am

    and for those looking for the best way to cook a turkey, I say do it with math:

    http://www.ugrad.math.ubc.ca/coursedoc/math100/notes/diffeqs/cool.html

  • 24 Dan Cooper // Dec 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Speaking of the danger of sliding while riding on snow, I look at it this way: What are my options? 1) Wait an hour for a bus that is not “full” (see my previous rants) or – in this situation, often – truly full, ride it a few blocks, then do the same thing again and arrive at work God Knows When. 2) Walk on the usually uncleared sidewalks and through the puddles, with as much or more likelihood of slipping and falling as if I was riding.

    Everyone has their own comfort level, of course, but given the above options, I (for myself, personally) choose to toddle along slowly on my bike while keeping my feet ready to hit the ground and make a tripop as needed, e.g. going over the ice bumps around intersections.

  • 25 Dan Cooper // Dec 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

    “Tripod” is the word I sought to use above, but come to think of it “tripop” is kind of nice too. Should mean something?!

  • 26 Bill Lee // Dec 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    @Dan Cooper // Dec 21, 2012 at 10:19 am #25

    You mean tripopes, that period from 1378 with the death of Pope Gregory XI, until 1417, when Martin V. Gregory XI was one of the Avignon popes in the Great Schism.

    And it wouldn’t be a tripod, but more a 2 wheels with 2 outrigger legs, a quadrapod.

    I remember that people used to push their bikes, (ride down slopes), in a Far East winter country because the buses were too full, and too many pickpockets on the buses with razor blades and they didn’t have a work-unit bus to pick them up to go to work.
    The bike also was a frame to carry substantial loads of work.

  • 27 Michelle // Dec 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    2012 was another painful year for the citizens of Vancouver. Another Vision / gregor boo-boo year. Culminating in a snow trashing a couple of days ago. To start plowing bike lanes and let the rain take care of the rest of the non driveable, non walkable streets and sidewalks was a colossal insult to me personally and to all of us living in Vancouver.
    Merry Christmas to all!
    (to Vision Vancouver Grinches… not so much)

  • 28 Chris Keam // Dec 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I hate to bring a smidgen of accuracy into a nice pre-christmas bike hate session, but unless I’m mistaken, the shared bike ‘routes’ such as Tenth Ave, Ontario etc are priorities. These streets are also available to motorized vehicles. IMO, it makes perfect sense to prioritize these shared routes… but then again I don’t have a particular care what type of transportation people choose, only that all modes should be accommodated, esp. those that help relieve multiple social ills, from traffic congestion to ill-health.

    Of course, it’s always the right time to point out that traffic problems aren’t due to cyclists or bike lanes, regardless of road conditions, but as I once again noted while returning from the Fraser Valley on Wednesday, the huge line-ups of single occupant vehicles that clog the road system at peak periods.

  • 29 Ms Jones // Dec 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Chris #28
    “the shared bike ‘routes’ such as Tenth Ave, Ontario etc are priorities.”
    No they are not!
    Not when the snow falls all over the city they are not. They would be if that’s a local neighborhood issue.
    Broadway corridor, Kingsway, Cambie, Granville, Burrard, Georgia… Dunsmuir streets including the viaducts… Hastings… yeah they should have been the priorities, Chris. Not the cycle pathway Robertson uses for biking back and forth to work. George Affleck was right on. Good for him for speaking out. As for Heather Deal’s LOL excuses… no comment. For her the democracy is still… cubed to her advantage.
    BTW, didn’t you say you were not in Vancouver during the snow? Then what exactly are you talking about, read it in the 24 hours and felt like commenting about it?

  • 30 Mark // Dec 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    For my own take on snowy 10th, I must have left too early for work in the day, because I saw no clearing efforts at all. (East of Main, anyhow).

    Wasn’t too bad though. Need to be extra careful of course, pretty slow and very careful on turns. But even then I only arrived 15 mins later then usual. All my driving or bussing coworkers were 1 hour+ late.

    Did notice other folks doing the “tripod” thing and picked it up myself. Good technique. Do a bit of “bike skiing” if you start to lose traction.

    So snow, not too bad for the velocipedes, but Friday’s black ice, that’s a whole other thing. Was pretty hairy out there.

    The usually silent/determined morning commute crowd were all talking to each other, warning oncoming folks of upcoming ice patches they had just gone through. Pretty nice little bit of community spirit, was cool to see people helping to keep each other safe.

    Nice counter balance to the drivers who seemed to give even less passing distance then usual, and the inevitable media rants of “how dare they plow bike routes!”. Ah well, so it goes.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  • 31 Chris Keam // Dec 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Riding in snow – lower your seat enough that you can touch the ground flat-footed on both sides and lay off the front brake (ditto-ing the tripod approach). If you can walk in the snow, you can cycle (slowly and carefully) in the snow. Choose the bare, plowed areas, or the virgin snow, but try to stay away from auto wheel ruts which can be the most slippery part of the road.

    Mira:

    My point about priorities is that the bike ‘lanes’ aren’t prioritized, but shared ‘routes’ are. You must educate yourself to the difference between the two if you wish to provide useful comment on cycling facilities. And despite your histronics, the City has acknowledged that bike ‘routes’ will be some of the first streets plowed (among many, including the major routes you mentioned). It is their policy, and to the dispassionate, it makes perfect sense. You may disagree with it, but claiming it is not the case with lots of exclamation points is just silly.

    And, for the record, to rebut your idiotic comment about not being in the city… I left Vancouver in the morning and returned in the afternoon. In fact, I spent 3-4 hours on the snowy roads on Wednesday and the only real delays we faced were from West Side drivers who got stuck because they equate all-season tires with winter tires. The freeways and side streets were quite navigable for the prepared.

    Your ideological blindness led you right into making stupid comments instead of useful dialogue. I’m remembering why my early New Year resolution is to stop wasting my time trying to have useful discussions in online forums, and wondering why I bothered to offer some valid, constructive remarks in a venue that increasingly dominated by mean-spirited nonsense. Merry Xmas.

  • 32 Chris Keam // Dec 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Oh look, turns out bike ‘lanes’ are what the city does refer to. Now I’m unsure if that’s actually the case, or another example of poor usage of ‘lanes’ Measure twice, cut once, or in this case ‘google first’ CK . But take note Mira, every single street you mentioned would be plowed before a bike lane, if the City sticks to its stated priorities. If they didn’t then that’s another matter, but my guess is they did, and I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest otherwise. Certainly Broadway was plowed when I left the city at 9am, as was every major street from Fraser to Renfrew, along with Twelfth Ave. So, I’m not sure what all the foofaraw is about, unless it’s just the usual Vision pot-shotting that passes for political debate these days.

  • 33 Ms Jones // Dec 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Gee, what a surprise!
    Called an idiot by a tool like you, Chris Keam!
    Mira!?? I’m not Mira, btw, but she’d be thrilled to read your insightful message. Back at ya, CK!
    Next time it snows, you Vision boys may start shoveling instead of grandstanding on TV, talking about your 2012 “achievements” See ya!

  • 34 boohoo // Dec 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Ahh, what christmas cheer from Mira, Roger, etc…

  • 35 Chris Keam // Dec 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Actually, I didn’t call Mira an ‘idiot’. I said her comments were. It’s irrelevant however. The real issue is whether or not the City deviated from it’s stated priorities regarding snow removal. All the evidence suggests that they did not, and major routes were plowed first. Once again, let’s be clear, anyone with good winter tires was not experiencing any problems on Wednesday, except those cause by unprepared drivers. Blaming the congestion on plowing priorities or another other variable is to completely ignore the real cause of Wednesday’s (and most days’) traffic problems. Hint, it’s not the bicycle, or bicycle lanes, routes, or cyclepaths. Sorry, if that’s a big surprise, but anyone who spends more than a few minutes thinking critically about traffic congestion will consider this shocking revelation to be old news.

  • 36 Chris Keam // Dec 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    “you Vision boys”

    Sorry, you’ve got the wrong label for me. I don’t support any party over another, but do recognize and commend good policies. That’s why I am thankful for the excellent NPA councillors we’ve had in the past, and satisfied with some of Vision’s current policies. Partisan-ship is for members of the public who aren’t interested in thinking for themselves.

  • 37 Everyman // Dec 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Translink is a disgrace on snow days. As Barbara Yaffe put it in today’s Sun “No other transit system plays dead at first lick of snow”

    http://www.vancouversun.com/other+transit+system+plays+dead+first+lick+snow/7730680/story.html#ixzz2Fkk263WD

  • 38 Michael Gordon // Dec 21, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I think one of the interesting aspects of living in Vancouver the past few years is the emergence of blogs and social media as a virtual space where people share their opinions with each other. I am supervising a student’s masters thesis on social media and its role in public policy. In preparation for this, my student and I read many books on the internet and social media and shared what we thought. This has all been quite intriguing for me.

    My take on all this is that many live in kind of a bubble in the ‘real world’ (rather than the virtual world) with people (our friends and family) who generally share similar values and opinions. I doubt that the people debating policy issues here from very different perspectives would otherwise share the kind of conversations we read on a blog or twitter etc unless we had social media and, in particular, this blog. I think that it’s a good thing there is a place, even though it is a virtual place, that we can actually share opinions with people coming from a very different place than one might have on a question of public policy. I also notice that as a Vancouver city planner I work very much outside a bubble and it is my job to listen to people coming from different perspectives on public issues….and consider what they are saying to me before I provide professional advice.

    So thanks Francis for this blog and I hope you have a great Christmas with your friends and family and keep writing your thoughtful, reflective and insightful articles … very much appreciated you are part of Vancouver.

    Cheers
    Michael

  • 39 MB // Dec 22, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Hear hear Michael 38.

  • 40 Rf // Dec 22, 2012 at 7:39 am

    All of the cyclists in our office (hard core ones, a couple commute daily from north Vancouver to downtown) we’re quite clear the other day…..”only idiots would be out there on a bike in conditions like that”.

  • 41 Chris Keam // Dec 22, 2012 at 8:12 am

    North Van to downtown isn’t hard core, sorry. Maybe 10 – 15 km, about an hour or so travel time?

    Moms pulling children in trailers while looking ready for a day at the office is hard core.

  • 42 brilliant // Dec 22, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Are there no workhouses?

  • 43 TerryM // Dec 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Rf @40
    Thanks for saying that.
    Tell that to CK ! He would bike apparently!

  • 44 Terry M // Dec 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Rf @40
    Thanks for saying that.
    Tell that to CK ! He would bike ! :-)

  • 45 Chris Keam // Dec 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Hmmm, if you’d googled winter cycling tips, you’d have discovered it’s quite do-able, and a fairly common activity in far colder, snowier places than the Lower Mainland. Instead, you took the second-hand opinion of someone who thinks riding across town is ‘hard core’. And now I’m laughing at your deliberate ignorance. You must be one of those folks who think the Gran Fondo is some big achievement, even though your average randonneur or touring cyclist would consider it just another day in the saddle.

  • 46 Ms Jones // Dec 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    CK #44
    For the average person, living in a city, and not an athlete, with family, kids, a job… cycling commute from the North shore to downtown would be “hard core”. Not everyone is a “Lance Armstrong” … the “great lance” LOL.
    Till next snow, you “live strong” Chris! Ha!

  • 47 Silly Season // Dec 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Hello all,

    I guess this post will be given over to all kinds of things.

    Not trying to be a ‘downer’ but since the question of mental helath has been on all our minds, i wanted to share this post by David Frum on ‘The Daily Beast’. This is a very heart-rending rejoinder to the article ‘I am Adam Lanza’s Mother’ that was also posted on The Beast. Do read it.

    But please read this first person account from a young man who felt he was in Lanza’s shoes and mindset, at one point.

    So many people, such a lonely planet.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/22/i-was-adam-lanza.html?source=socialflow&account=thedailybeast&medium=twitter

  • 48 tedeastside // Dec 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    is Vancouver an urban city ?, does Vancouver have anything that big cities have,..high wages, head offices, big companies, NBA, MLB ??

  • 49 Chris Keam // Dec 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Ms Jones:

    A ride from the North Shore to downtown isn’t ‘hard core’ by any stretch of the imagination. You don’t have to be an athlete to ride a bicycle 10 or 20 km. The average person could do it in about an hour, and if doing it regularly, it wouldn’t be much more strenuous than a walk around the Seawall. Coming home would be a bit tougher due to hills, but anyone in reasonable health and fitness can manage it. Perhaps you’re another of these people that mistakes the cycling industry’s need to position the sport as an extreme challenge (to sell lots of bike-related stuff) with the reality that average people the world over can manage these feats of ‘extreme’ physicality. I have no idea what one’s parental, employment, or marital status has to do with it, but no doubt there’s a connection in your mind you’re going to share with us. That’s a shame.

  • 50 brilliant // Dec 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Cue the pointless comparisons to Copenhagen.

  • 51 Chris Keam // Dec 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    No need to go so far. How about a pointless comparison to the Prairies?

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/16/winter-cycling/

  • 52 gman // Dec 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    From CKs link,
    “I’m falling down quite a bit less,” he said. “Not often enough to be concerned about it. I probably wiped out five or six times the whole winter. One was right in the middle of the road, too, which was kind of unsafe.”
    I guess he didn’t read CKs guide to cycling in the snow… LOL.

  • 53 Chris Keam // Dec 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Guy’s happy doin’ what he’s doin’. He’s not worried about falling over, gets where he wants to go and has his reasons.

    “I find it’s still a lot faster than taking the bus. A lot of the time, it’s cheaper than a monthly bus pass. And you can ensure an hour of daily cardio exercise.”

    Seems like a rational individual who isn’t afraid of living life outside of bubble wrap. A rarer breed every day it seems.

  • 54 gman // Dec 22, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    CK tell it to the poor driver who has to live with the fact that some asshat kinda unsafely fell down in front of him.
    And CK don’t you think you owe an apology to Mira who you unjustly and obsessively insulted for no other reason than your a hater…she must be laughing her butt off seeing as she never commented on this thread.
    You keep on spinning CK its funny as all get out.

  • 55 B // Dec 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Dear Frances,

    Please come back. The lunatics are running the asylum. And complaining about ridiculous things, though that’s par for the course around here.

  • 56 Threadkiller // Dec 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    If I can steer things away from bicycles for a moment, I’d like to point out that Council has just approved $5.6 million for seismic upgrading of the Granville Bridge. Since an extensive upgrade was done about 10-15 (??) years ago, I can only assume that either seismic-upgrade techniques have dramatically improved in recent years, or the work done back then was so substandard that it needs to be upgraded already.

    Either way, the punchline lies in the fact that none of the on and offramps have ever been upgraded– not 10 years ago, not ever– and these seem to be no plans to ever do so. Which in turn means that if there was ever a really severe earthquake in this locale, we will likely have an impressive-looking central bridge span still standing with no way to get onto or off of it. (Perhaps it can be declared to be a giant work of public art.) Brilliant and foresighted planning, of the sort we’ve come to expect in this city.

  • 57 boohoo // Dec 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    lol gman ‘your a hater’. Hypocritical and funny all at once. Thanks for the laugh. A good way to sign off on 2012.

    Thanks Frances for continuing on, it is appreciated beyond the noise.

  • 58 gman // Dec 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    CK ,as a writer and considering the time of year I was wondering if you could gift us with a link to what you feel is the best piece you’ve ever written.I think it would give us a better perspective of how you feel,you have expressed a very tribal attitude for some reason and I hope everything is OK at home for you.This can be a very trying time for some but I hope you and yours are doing fine.

    PS:
    Looking forward to that link Chris,hope there are some cycle tips in it.

  • 59 Chris Keam // Dec 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Where does it say in the article that any driver was traumatized by the fellow falling down? You need to work on your reading comprehension. Certainly don’t owe Mira an apology for pointing out her comments were stupid. They were. I didn’t insult her. Again, these simple facts aren’t hard for someone who’s paying attention. What’s your excuse?

    Look, you’re afraid of everything. I get it. You feel you can insult whoever you choose, but when somebody dares point out the idiocy of a comment by one of your pals, you toss a hissy fit. Ludicrous, like most of your nonsense.

  • 60 Chris Keam // Dec 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    “I was wondering if you could gift us with a link to what you feel is the best piece you’ve ever written.”

    Gifts are for the good little boys Gman. Your on my naughty list. A nice lump of carbon-y coal for you.

  • 61 Chris Keam // Dec 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Sorry Threadkiller. It seems I’m a polarizing contributor to this blog at times… another reason I’ve been trying to stay away.

  • 62 gman // Dec 23, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Breath Chris…breath…look back on the thread…Mira has not commented…your full of hate and you’ve lost your perspective on how you should treat your fellow man.
    As an atheist I can say I love Christmas,but you’ve managed to take an exchange of recipes and turn it in to an argument…congratulations.

  • 63 David // Dec 23, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Snow removal is a small n non partisan issue most would agree. The mantra used to be the side streets will be last to be plowed. By then usually the snow took care of itself. 1990 +- 3 years, a heavy snowfall followed by 2 weeks of subzero temperatures. Plow? Too late.

  • 64 gman // Dec 23, 2012 at 12:34 am

    CK #56
    ” Certainly don’t owe Mira an apology for pointing out her comments were stupid. They were. ”
    Really CK,could you point me to where she commented????
    Your ability to type exceeds your ability to think.

  • 65 Threadkiller // Dec 23, 2012 at 12:35 am

    On the other hand, what the hell. Bicycles. Haven’t seen that topic here before. Go to it, folks.

  • 66 gman // Dec 23, 2012 at 1:04 am

    CK#57
    ” Gifts are for the good little boys Gman. Your on my naughty list. A nice lump of carbon-y coal for you.”
    Really CK,don’t hold back because I’m a bad boy,go ahead and share your best work with us.Unless of course you may be embarrassed by what you’ve written.

  • 67 Silly Season // Dec 23, 2012 at 2:07 am

    @Threadkiller #62.

    I know. *Sigh*

  • 68 Julia // Dec 23, 2012 at 3:33 am

    Threadkiller #62, if memory serves me correctly, there was a 3 million dollar project in 2008 or 2009 to improve the on-ramps on the Granville Bridge in advance of the Olympics. I believe there is also an asbestos problem that must be addressed – Burrard Bridge as well.

  • 69 Julia // Dec 23, 2012 at 3:40 am

    Threadkiller #62 – this is what I was referring to- http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20090203/documents/a3.pdf

  • 70 Everyman // Dec 23, 2012 at 7:47 am

    @Julia 65
    Why would there be asbestos in bridges? How likely is it that steel and asphalt will burst into flames?!

  • 71 Roger Kemble // Dec 23, 2012 at 8:39 am

    2013 Predictions

    Local
    Vancouver city will sink deeper and deeper into debt. Compound interest will compound: who cares, leave it to the grand kids?

    Meanness around the shelter at Emery Barnes Parks (something Emery, I knew him, would never countenance) reflects a vicious streak all too familiar and growing.

    Real estate will continue to gently peter out: the Chinese have their own mounting problems. So will jobs (what happened to all those North Shore ship building jobs?), as both slowly trend downwards.

    The cycle lobby will continue to make itself very unpopular. Why? Heaven only knows, it got all it wanted!

    The Three Trinketeers will continue to hawk the world to justify their claims. Who the hell cares about tubes in Neuilly-sur-Seine or Creteil? Vancouver has its own unique issues.

    UBC will convert, out of necessity, to on-line under-grad instruction (80+ per class just doesn’t cut it, educationally, socially or economically). Miraculously seating on the B-line and no 9 will become readily available 24/7. TX bavardage, regardless, will escalate (we want our phuccin’ Broadway toob and we want it now) exponentially.

    The city will strongly resist connecting incrementalized traditional villages, by a light net-work of trams, providing most amenity/residence within walking: power never gives up without a show-down! Nor the bavardages.

    The Canada Line is a flop: over crowded proving the dictum, “the more you build the more will come!“. Already the smart set use cabs to/from YVR. (Over crowded tubes are fertile grounds for gropers and pick-pockets: I learned that on el Linea Amarillo, Universidad/Indios Verdes.)

    Regionally

    Port Mann Two will be quietly brushed under the rug while millions more will be wasted wiring the wires to no avail.

    The SFPR will not relieve traffic anywhere. Dictum: the more roads they build the more traffic will come!

    Surrey Center is still Whalley while Watts deludes her cohorts, ever building to solve her problems. Your problems are endemic, traditional and cultural, not concrete, Dianne. Live with it!

    Canada
    The country and the province will sink deeper and deeper into debt. Compound interest will compound: who cares, leave it to the grand kids?

    The Tar Sands will cease to be. All that money and braggadocio wasted. Canada will rapidly degenerate from a petro-state to a banana republic less the bananas. So will our neighbor to the south but don’t expect MB, Tessa, boo hoo y mezzanine et. al. to let on! Let’s all be happeeeeeee . . .

    Politically we will trend to the right despite no one wanting it. I don’t understand that one, corporate control I guess.

    World
    There will not be a financial crash. Criminal banks and Zionists will continue to be supported by governments and the world will teeter on the verge of a violence and break out.

    All the acrimonious acronyms, NAFTA, CIFTA, TPP etc. will escalate giving Mr. Silvester more excuses to infiltrate the ALR while sanctimoniously denying.

    AGW will become a laughing matter: more legitimate scientist will come to recognize it for what it is: a tax grab! (No more substantiating links on phony AGW from me: I’ve posted enough!)

    Academics, supported by grants, will continue to exploit the myth. Governments will continue to lie; the gullible will continue to buy.

    The Baltic dry index plummets as Nordstrom’s plans for the 1950′s: Oakridge gated ghetto, Ambleside Village and Marine Gateway too.

    On a personal note, glaucoma blinds my eyes, three fractured vertebrate put paid to waltzing and I miss my thirty-four year old girl friend: but I relish happy memories of cruising the Salish Sea.

    http://www.theyorkshirelad.ca/3sailing/gulf.islands.2006/sailing.british.columbia.gulf.islands.2006.html

    Life is very, very good!

    The Mayans were wrong. So!

  • 72 Julia // Dec 23, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Everyman #67 – just repeating what I was told by an engineering staff member.

  • 73 ThinOutsideABox // Dec 23, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Hi everyone

    Here’s a recipe for a sweet little thing for the holidays to have around the table after the meal, during dessert with coffee, or with hors d’ouvres.

    I showed my mother and sister-in-law how to make these yesterday. It’s gluten free, all-natural and decadent. Only difference is that I don’t include cocoa nibs, and throw in a little extra cocoa powder and I roll them in coconut:

    CHOCOLATE BROWNIE BITES

    Makes 15 – 20, depending on the size you roll them.

    3/4 cup walnuts or pecans

    1/4 cup almonds or cashews (mix and match to find your perfect pairing)

    1 cup Medjool dates, pitted

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    Pinch salt

    2 tb cacao powder (raw if that’s important to you, but normal is fine)

    2 tb raw cacao nibs

    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the nuts until finely chopped.

    Add in the dates, vanilla, salt, and cacao powder, and pulse until everything is incorporated and the mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers. (Depending on how soft your dates are, you may need to throw in a few more to get to this stage.)

    Tip in the cacao nibs, and pulse briefly to combine.
    Roll into balls and store in the fridge or freezer, or share with family and friends and eat all in one go.

    The recipe can be found here, thanks to Hannah:

    http://wayfaringchocolate.com/2012/03/27/raw-vegan-chocolate-brownie-bites/

    Merry Christmas, happy holidays!

  • 74 Chris Keam // Dec 23, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Regarding the evolution of the region, I think one bad thing we’ve experienced has been the importation of attack politics that allows for very little intelligent debate over key issues surrounding growth. Plenty of blame to go around, but the biggest helping must be apportioned to the ‘right’ which has not only countenanced this trend, but fostered it. I think the reason is because they are losing their relevancy for most of us. I disagree with Roger… I don’t think the world is veering to the right. Quite the opposite. Here in Canada we see the Conservative party (BC wing nut chapter excepted) quite comfortable with the big govt approach they would have decried a generation ago. Globally, the inexorable tide of human rights continues to find beachheads (pardon the mixed metaphor) in formerly repressive places, and the growing ability of women and youth to lay claim to power is a boon to us all.

    The expansion of free market principles is messy and sometimes poorly realized, but in fits and starts we see the individual opportunities and collective benefits it offers bringing a better quality of life to many. I think we’re also witnessing the slow (too slow) creep of social responsibility into the marketplace, which augers well for the generations that follow. I think all those trends are visible in Metro Vancouver, and when I talk with elementary and high school age youth I am consistently impressed by their understanding of, and commitment to, the real values that foster a civil society, esp in the face of behaviour by their elders that offers little in the way of a road map or example to follow.

    On the downside, we continue to allow ourselves to be amused to death, to invoke Neil Postman’s book title of a few years ago, and the continued glorification of war and violence by our entertainers and politicians of all stripes is frankly a bit of an embarassment given the lip service both groups pay to peace love and understanding.

  • 75 West End Gal // Dec 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Roger #68
    Loved your post!
    Merry Christmas and a Happy Less Scary New Year! :-)

  • 76 Chris Keam // Dec 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Apologies to Mira for attributing Ms jones boneheaded remarks to her.

  • 77 Bill Lee // Dec 24, 2012 at 12:22 am

    @brilliant // Dec 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm #48

    Here is a pointless note to the Rad-Can host of the TV expose show “Enquête” [Inquiry] of Alain Gravel. Titled “À bas les vélos l’hiver!” it details the trials and tribulations of one of the 50 000! winter (not necessarily in snow) pedalistes in Montreal.
    “On serait (vous l’avez deviné, moi aussi je roule à vélo l’hiver lorsqu’il n’y a pas trop de neige) 50 000 cyclistes l’hiver à Montréal.”

    St. Hubert district is like Clark or Commercial hear and in the north of the city on the plateau.
    ———–
    Now tell us! Who had a vegetarian Seasonal (Holiday, Christmas) meal.

    And for those on Tuesday finding all the stores closed, there are the oases of Fraser and 45th, and the Thomas Fung empire of Aberdeen Mall, Yoya store in Chinatown etc, advertising 25 December hours.

    And chabadeastvan.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/2063587/jewish/Post-Chanukah-on-Ice-2012.htm
    at Hillcrest (Riley Park) ice rink. $10 on 25 Dec. 3:30 to 5 pm

  • 78 David // Dec 24, 2012 at 12:41 am

    2012 ? Was this the year vancouver.ca was ‘upgraded’.

    “Oh no, the page you are looking for does not exist!” exclaimed the server. Oh no indeed.

    We will get you to the page you want as quickly as possible.

    (Too late for that. “as quickly as possible means click on the link google finds, page loads. 5 seconds is “as quickly as possible)

    In a hurry? Search for your topic.

    (Feel free to rummage around the site. Search, not find. Use the steam powered search engine )

    Still can’t find what you’re looking for?

    Call our service centre at 3-1-1 (1-604-873-7000 outside of Vancouver

    I’m not sure how that would work out, probably two weeks later a telegram will arrive. “Oh No…..

  • 79 David // Dec 24, 2012 at 12:46 am

    About 20 years ago a sudden “Granville Bridge is falling down” panic caused a reduction in load limit to… the point where buses had to divert to Burrard. That was fun. Lasted about a week iirc. Google turns up nothing… it was pre internet.

  • 80 Guest // Dec 24, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Everyman #67, Julia #69
    The WTC towers collapsed in part because the fireproofing on the steel girders failed.

    Presumably, in the case of one of the bridges, the foreproofing would protect against accidents that may cause large fires (i.e. gas tanker truck explosion and fire on the bridge) and subsequent sagging of steel girders and columns.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/asbestos_pix/5052901729/

    http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/print/volume-155/issue-10/world-trade-center-disaster/volume-ii-the-ruins-and-the-rebirth/fireproofing-at-the-wtc-towers.html

  • 81 Bill Lee // Dec 24, 2012 at 2:07 am

    @David Dec 24, 2012 at 12:46 am #75

    Not not “pre-internet” just behind pay walls.
    But the VPL (or Burnaby, or North Van libraries) have the Canadian Newstand among other resources.
    +—-
    “Canadian Newsstand™ offers unparalleled access to the full text of nearly 300 newspapers from Canada’s leading publishers, including The Globe and Mail.
    This full text database includes the complete available electronic backfile for most newspapers, providing full access to the articles, columns, editorials, and features. Some backfiles date as far back as the late 1970s and 1980s. Canadian Newsstand content is updated daily so researchers always have e timely access to new information.”
    ———————–+

    Preview Buses barred from bridge for 2 weeks: [4* Edition]
    Volkart, Carol. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 31 July 1987: A3.

    …carry significant loads, as do all the
    …Noting that the Granville Bridge is 33
    …Granville Street bridge is an important
    Citation/Abstract
    Full text
    or
    12newspapers
    Preview Bridge buses banned as test shows flaws: [3* Edition]
    Volkart, Carol; Parfitt, Ben. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 30 July 1987: A3.

    Text:
    Granville Bridge was closed Wednesday night to B.C. Transit buses and heavy trucks after Vancouver’s engineering department received test results showing possible defects in six metal members in the bridge’s massive understructure.
    Ultrasound tests conducted by a private firm revealed “some possibilities of defects,” city engineer Bill Curtis said Wednesday.
    He said the ultrasonic tests, done for the first time this year, involve sending sound waves through the various support systems of the bridge to check the interior condition of the metal.
    “There has been deterioration and we are checking it out. The chances are it’s not significant but until we finish the tests, we have decided to take off the heavy loads as a precaution,” Curtis said.
    City engineers gave B.C. Transit three hours notice before closing the to its vehicles at 6 p.m. Wednesday. But Curtis said the short notice did not indicate the condition of the bridge was extremely serious.
    The engineering department acts when it discovers something needs to be done – for example, fixing a broken watermain, Curtis said.
    The bridge’s closure meant B.C. Transit had to reroute all Granville Bridge buses.
    Diesel buses were rerouted west on Broadway and Davie to cross over Burrard Bridge before reconnecting with their old routes.
    Buses powered by the overhead electric lines were rerouted east along Broadway and Robson to cross Cambie Bridge.
    A transit spokesman said the diversions mean delays of four to five minutes.
    B.C. Transit chairman Stu Hodgson said he received little information when the engineering department informed him that it wanted buses off the major connector to the downtown core within three hours.
    “All we were told was they didn’t want the buses on the bridge and would we remove them,” Hodgson said. “They didn’t really say what it was. They were checking something. They said they’d let us know when to let them back.”
    The tests are to be repeated after the bridge is closed, to eliminate any doubt about the accuracy of the earlier test, Mayor Gordon Campbell said.
    “We are going to carry out the tests again. And to make sure that those tests can’t be ambiguous and you’re not reading the wrong stuff, we have decided to remove the heavy traffic to make sure that they’re correct,” Campbell said.
    Campbell added the ordering of the buses off the bridge should not be cause for alarm.
    “I think it’s better to err on the side of precaution,” he said.
    Curtis said the tests will be conducted in the next day, at which point B.C. Transit will be informed of whether the buses can return to the bridge.
    If the tests confirm structural deterioration, Curtis said, the six members will be replaced, and heavy vehicles kept off the bridge.
    He said repairs would probably not close the bridge to all traffic.

  • 82 Thread killer // Dec 24, 2012 at 2:34 am

    @Julia #65:
    The Granville Bridge main span upgrade a decade ago was quite substantial, involving strengthening the support columns, installing an extensive shock-absorption system, and other improvements. Nothing on that scale has been done on the approach ramps (personal observation).
    I’m traveling at the moment with only an iPod for Web access and it doesn’t want to load the document for which you provided a link so I can’t comment. Will take a look when I’m home in a few days. Thanks for posting it, though.

  • 83 Threadkiller // Dec 24, 2012 at 2:44 am

    @David,#75:
    A couple of months ago there was an under-reported incident in which some chunks of “debris” (likely concrete) fell off the underside of the bridge and landed on Granville Island. Fortunately no one was struck– the consequences could easily have been fatal. Maybe “Granville Bridge is falling down” isn’t so far from the truth.

  • 84 Raingurl // Dec 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I get a kick out of reading posts about bike lanes and complaining about them and then trashing the mayor. It all seems like an oxymoron to me. lol. No, not calling anyone a moron. This is a little joke……..

  • 85 MB // Dec 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

    @ Threadkiller 77, I was going to bring that up too.

    About 15 years ago I was working at a building at the entry to Granville Island. One day, just as I about to exit the stairway door to the street on my way to lunch, there was a loud boom outside the door and the sound of debris clattering against the building and pavement. When I opened the door (very cautiously!) it was evident a 100-pound chunk of concrete broke off the underside of the bridge and landed on the busy walkway below, only 15-feet from the door.

    There were about 10 pedestrians who stopped and gawked upwards to an exposed area with rusty rebar clearly showing. I presume this was due to water entering stress fractures and rusting the rebar (winter road salt does a lot of damage this way). Within a few weeks the crews were busy patching several areas.

    It is possible that the concrete formulation for the Granville Bridge included asbestos fibres. Lots of concrete structures in the 50s and 60s used asbestos fibres to help limit minute cracks and to add strength. For example, there are hundreds of km of asbestos-concrete storm sewer lines everywhere. However, the fibres are locked inside the concrete, so A/C isn’t hazardous until it gets disturbed.

    Just wait a few minutes now before someone on this site blames Vision and “progressives” for it.

  • 86 Bill // Dec 24, 2012 at 11:30 am

    This is the time of year where we should be putting aside our differences and finding common ground to celebrate and it is in this spirit I offer the following:

    To all my Liberal friends:

    Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2013, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Canada great. Not to imply that Canada is necessarily greater than any other country in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

    To all my Conservative friends:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

  • 87 MB // Dec 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

    @ Roger 68, looks like you’ve got your personal rant list for the New Year all prepared. However, I noticed lots of repeats there, and that will make my reference checks easier.

    You will note that over the past year I didn’t succumb to name calling, and prefer to stick to plain English (anyone can thumb a thesaurus or tap Google Translator for obscurities) and give credit to real professionals where its due.

    [On second thought, I once called gman "smartypants." Golly gee, me oh my. For that I humbly apologize and beg his forgiveness for this unintended withdrawl from the Bank of Karma. Heh heh.]

    I wish everyone all the best, especially those who discuss and defend ideas first and foremost in this forum. There has been less of that here in 2012, and this site is poorer for it. I hope the quality of commentary goes up again in the New Year.

    Have a safe Christmas and stay warm!

  • 88 Raingurl // Dec 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I remember last year on Christmas Eve I picked a drunk hooker up off the sidewalk because she was wearing summer sandals in the pouring rain and she slipped and fell………..think about that as you start your celebrations………or not. This year I’m staying home where it’s warm and cozy. It may be selfish of me not to hang out and help others but I’ve got ten for breakfast and ten for dinner tomorrow so…………MERRY CHRISTMAS/KWANZA/WHATEVER you celebrate……..or not.

  • 89 Glissando Remmy // Dec 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Thought of The Christmas Eve

    “In the Nick… Claus of time!”

    I wish to all of you, Fabula dwellers, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    Have a nice, well deserved break together with your loved ones.

    GR-eetings! :-)

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • 90 brilliant // Dec 25, 2012 at 12:40 am

    @Raingurl 82-of all the possible endings for a story that began “I remember last year on Christmas Eve I picked a drunk hooker up..” yours must be the most disappointing!

  • 91 David // Dec 25, 2012 at 1:11 am

    @ Bill #76. Thank you for digging that up. 1987, 25 years ago. delays of 4 to 5 minutes? Maybe in theory… Burrard bridge s/b backup to Pacific is what i recall.

    Newspapers, google has a collection. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=UC5lAAAAIBAJ&sjid=zIgNAAAAIBAJ&pg=1213%2C2491825

  • 92 Threadkiller // Dec 25, 2012 at 2:36 am

    @Julia,#65:
    I’m not sure what ugrades were done to the bridge on ramps at the time you mention (three years ago). However, they were certainly nowhere near the scale of the work done on the main span a decade ago, which saw the support columns and crossbeams enlarged and reinforced, and a considerably improved shock-absorption system installed. The work took months, severely disrupted car and pedestrian access to Granville Island, and generated incredible levels of noise. Nothing as substantial has ever been done to the approach ramps.
    I am currently traveling and have inadequate computer access (this was labouriously written on an iPod), so I’ve been unable to view the document to which you’ve provided a link, but I will get to it eventually. Thanks.

  • 93 waltyss // Dec 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Merry Christmas to all, friends and foes alike. And even to brilliant not, even though I notice that once again, Santa failed to bring him/her/it kindness or good cheer.

  • 94 Threadkiller // Dec 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    @David #88:
    I really have no idea what you’re trying to say, but the document you’ve posted relates to an upgrade of the bridge that was undertaken prior to the Olympics to render it more suitable for heavy truck traffic during the Olympics disruption; the plan was to give trucks an alternative route into downtown. (I suspect this is what Julia was referring to as well, back in post #65.) It was an ill-conceived proposal from the get-go and generated much controversy at the time because of the lack of arterials suitable for truck traffic that connect to either end of the bridge, and the suspicion that Engineering would make Granville a permanent truck route a la Clark Drive– which, as I say, makes no sense. The work was done, nonetheless, but in the larger context was little more than cosmetic. However, none of this has anything to do with the impending seismic upgrade to the main span, nor with the fact the the Granville Bridge’s on- and offramps have never been seismically upgraded and no plans to bring this about appear to be in the works. One good Richter 9 and, quite possibly, “all fall down”. Along with a good portion of the city, probably…

  • 95 Bill Lee // Dec 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    @Threadkiller // Dec 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm #89

    “It was an ill-conceived proposal from the get-go and generated much controversy at the time because of the lack of arterials suitable for truck traffic that connect to either end of the bridge, and the suspicion that Engineering would make Granville a permanent truck route a la Clark Drive– which, as I say, makes no sense.”

    Clark Drive a truck route!?

    We can’t have that. It will disturb the sleep (or drunken partying?) of the yuppies in the 6 to 8 proposed high-rise towers going up around Hastings and Clark.
    We must move the ship off-loading to Kits Beach as it was in the 1900s and truck it through Granville Street.

  • 96 Julia // Dec 29, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Threadkiller #89 an RFP went out this fall to determine if the bridge could be adapted to accommodate a pedestrian walkway/bikelane in keeping with the Transport 2040 Plan. I imagine part of that work will determine whether the whole thing would fall down or not. Should be interesting.

  • 97 brilliant // Dec 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    ^ I’m surprised Moonbeam didn’t rename it the Transport 420 plan.

  • 98 Threadkiller // Dec 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    @Julia #91:
    It’s highly unlikely that the addition of a pedestrian walkway would cause the Granville Bridge to collapse (although it’s a good idea to make sure). I think the question is more one of design and how to incorporate said walkway. Of more pressing urgency, as I keep saying, is that the approach/exit ramps have never been seismically upgraded and very likely would collapse in a megaquake. We can only hope that the work done on the main span 10 years ago, coupled with whatever smaller upgrades the city is about to do, will keep it from collapsing. But even if this were so, a collapse of the Fir Street/4th Avenue off-ramp(s) and the Hemlock and Howe Street on-ramps would critically endanger nearby residential buildings (not to mention commercial buildings). It’s quite disturbing that the necessary upgrades have not been done and, as it appears, will not be done in the foreseeable future. As it stands, all the Granville Bridge approaches remain as they have always been: Built to the seismic standards of 60 years ago. In a word: Unsafe.

  • 99 David // Dec 30, 2012 at 2:37 am

    >I really have no idea what you’re trying to say

    True, it’s not clear what the civil engineers were trying to say…

    “A girder that lacks a sufficent amount of traverse reinforcement can fail suddenly… with little or no warning and can result in a complete loss of load carrying capacity.

    complete loss of load carrying capacity? in layman terms: “all fall down”

    http://turmarion.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/bridge_collapse.jpg

  • 100 David // Dec 30, 2012 at 3:05 am

    >Built to the seismic standards of 60 years ago

    Anything to say, ghost of J.C. Oliver? Hart McHarg Viaduct was worse? That was replaced 40 years ago with… shhhsh the movie’s starting. http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/granville-street-bridge-reel-1;rad

  • 101 brilliant // Dec 30, 2012 at 9:33 am

    @Tkiller 93-it wouldn’t surprise me if not upgrading the ramps is part of the anticar brigade’s long term plan. They’d love to see them gone along with north end loops which are already on their hit list. Think of the land they could free up for their developer buddies!

  • 102 Kenji // Dec 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Random things I am noticing about how the area is evolving:

    The Granville Entertainment District remake has been a success. The area looks nicely spruced up, and is wall-to-wall packed with scantily clad drunken singles every Friday and Saturday night.

    Bike lanes are a rage-magnet out of all proportion to their cost and impact, I think. As a bike commuter, they are profoundly beneficial to my life and will likely keep me a Vision voter.

    Skytrain on Broadway seems to finally be getting some traction, so I would put that in the positive development category.

    Real estate drives a lot of what happens in and to this region. Vancouver continues to command a premium in accommodation which continues to drive working people farther from the core. But while house prices are still unaffordable for most middle-income couples, the prices went back a tiny bit in 2012 – a blip or a trend?

    Gentrification of the DTES was very noticeable this year. The proliferation of hipster restaurants has removed a lot of the negative stigma from Hastings and its environs. Of course, that stigma is what allowed the locals the lack of attention to form a sense of ownership and community of the area. They are being squeezed big time. It’s interesting to watch. Will they go elsewhere or just compress to a smaller and smaller area?

    I want to say something about the BC Place area but it’s hard to think of what it might mean regionally. I work around there and it is a nice building, ok, and Lions and Whitecaps fans are well served by it, but my subjective impression is that no one really gives much of a shit. I honestly don’t think this is a sports town. Certainly, Joe Fan seemed completely indifferent to whether or not there was a stadium over the railway tracks in Gastown.

    Indo Canadian visibility. I have been seeing the odd Indian movie review in the Georgia Straight and the odd Indian movie in Cineplex theatres over the last couple of years. I’m seeing more politicians, entertainers, and other high profile folks from South Asian backgrounds in our media. Surrey and Richmond are still very much ethnic enclaves but I am seeing quite a bit more mixing of the cultures around town, which to me is the only positive way to go — pretty hard to have race riots when we’ve all got friends and relatives in the various races. Therefore, for ideological reasons, I am disquieted by Idle No More, which is a race-based movement (although I appreciate that the First Nations have different issues based on notions of primacy, treaty, and independence).

  • 103 Roger Kemble // Dec 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Kenji @ # 97

    Skytrain on Broadway seems to finally be getting some traction, so I would put that in the positive development category.” Another bloody fool whose mouth is bigger than his brain . . .

    http://www.thecanadian.org/item/1868-bc-may-be-headed-for-its-own-fiscal-cliff-erik-andersen

    I can see 2013 is going to be a fun year!

  • 104 Boohoo // Dec 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Roger,

    No holiday cheer from you, just petty personal insults. Colour me surprised.

  • 105 Threadkiller // Dec 31, 2012 at 2:54 am

    @Kenji #97:
    “The Granville Entertainment District remake has been a success. The area looks nicely spruced up, and is wall-to-wall packed with scantily clad drunken singles every Friday and Saturday night.”

    This is one of the strangest ways of defining “success” I’ve ever heard of. Is this sarcasm? Perhaps you’re a connoisseur of the infinite variety of patterns formed by fresh vomit on downtown sidewalks? Or do you just like to watch drunken yobbos shouting and fighting? How curious.

  • 106 Kenji // Dec 31, 2012 at 10:17 am

    @TK

    It certainly looks like success to me. The area is sparkly and packed with people, which to me seems to be an improvement over being a revolting, embarassing slum of boarded-up windows. To me, it seems that people who visit the GED are being separated from their money. That they are also being separated from their stomach contents (edamame, bellinis, roofies) is of no interest or concern to me.

  • 107 Kenji // Dec 31, 2012 at 10:20 am

    @99

    well, consider the source.

  • 108 Roger Kemble // Dec 31, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Yup, consider the sauce Kenji @ #102 . . .

    Don’t expect the hockey playing small town lawyer to come up with anything other than more of the same in February: “ A perfect storm in the global bond market has formed with Europe crippled, Canada and Australia entering their own (long-delayed and spectacular) housing bubble busts” . . .

    http://kunstler.com/blog/2012/12/forecast-2013-contraction-contagion-and-contradiction.html

    I know it’s long for your concentration span but give it a shot.

    Are we ever going to warn Mr. Silvester off our ALR when it hit’s the fan!

    . . . and if you cannot take the truth blog over to Price Tags were the beautiful people frolic!

  • 109 Threadkiller // Dec 31, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Kenji #101:
    Your comments remind me of a gun dealer who, after a client has gone and shot someone, shrugs and says “Hey, I just sell ‘em. What they do with ‘em afterwards ain’t my concern.” Nice, finely-honed sense of social responsibility you have there.

  • 110 gman // Dec 31, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Roger Kemble@
    Roger your dissenters seem to live in a very small and selfish world,screw the cost and buy the cat another canary.
    This is a talk given at Stanford and these admissions truly are stunning,the pie is only so big and our piece is getting ever smaller.Its well worth a look I think.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOwZwkhFemQ

  • 111 Kenji // Dec 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    @104

    Hey I never said I was a role model dang it!

    That said, maybe you should hold off going pro as a peddler of useful analogies. Because, unless I am very much mistaken, being 21 and zany/pukey on a Saturday night is not an equivalently serious situation as being shot’n kilt, whaddaya think?

    Are you saying that you preferred Granville Street as it was say three years ago, in all it’s Stone Templeness?

    @103

    Consider the what?

  • 112 Roger Kemble // Dec 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Consider the what?106 . . .

    I parodied your pejorative reference Kenji @ # 102well, consider the source.“into . . . “Yup, consider the sauce . . .

    Said the proof is in the pudding
    The secret’s in the sauce
    I ain’t gotta tell nobody why they call me the boss
    Said the proof is in the pudding
    The secret’s in the sauce
    I ain’t gotta tell nobody why they call me the boss

    http://rapgenius.com/Childish-gambino-im-a-winner-lyrics#note-213304

    I thought you would be hip, yunno slipping and puking on Granville and all that, but I guess not!

  • 113 rico // Dec 31, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Rodger, any chance you can be pleasant or at least not rude in 2013?

  • 114 rico // Dec 31, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Gman, I managed to get most of the way through the utube link you provided before I got too bored. Apart from showing you are a consperacy theorist what point were you trying to make? Population is growing much faster in the third world than here? The information age will make transfer of ideas/resources to the third world easier? Those changes will change the world?

  • 115 gman // Dec 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    rico@
    Thats classic for you,in one post you accuse Roger of being rude and in the very next post you call me names and at the same time admit you didn’t have the attention span to watch what the former President of the World Bank had to say…..sweet.
    The point is rico if you would have bothered to listen was about the shifting of world incomes.You seem to think its just fine to borrow billions of dollars on the backs of our grandchildren in order to save six or nine minutes on our commute when the wealth of the world is shifting away from us and their ability to pay these debts will mean we will just hand over the infrastructure we owe on to some corporation whose head office will more than likely be in what is now a third world country,but not for long.
    But you keep on spinning and trying to misrepresent what I say just like always.Far be it from you to actually listen to what is said before you come out name calling as though that has anything to do with my credibility,I think it reflects more on you and a sad attempt to label others you think you disagree with,although I don’t know how you would even know that if you haven’t listened to what was said.

  • 116 Roger Kemble // Jan 1, 2013 at 12:21 am

    January 01, 2013.

    Happy New Year . . .

    http://www.theyorkshirelad.ca/5poetry/The%20Boat/boat.html

    . . . good luck.

  • 117 Threadkiller // Jan 1, 2013 at 1:45 am

    @Kenji 106:
    “Stone Templeness”? “Three years ago”?! Oh Lord, you young folks. I do suspect you’re far too young to remember the Granville Street I immeasurably preferred: The Granville Street that was once known, in its middle age, as Theatre Row; that had, at one time or another, ten movie theatres that I can personally remember (not counting the Strand, that was located just off Granville, where the Scotiabank tower is now); back when the Capitol 6–itself already a faded memory– was just the “Capitol” and had but a single enormous screen (hell, I’m old enough to remember Saturday matinees at the Orpheum– yes, there really were, once upon a time, movie theatres that big); the street that was lined with mature leafy trees, all cut down in a single, criminal act of vandalism by the City a few years ago to accommodate widening of the street, leaving it denuded and hideously ugly; the Granville that was a place where families would and could bring their children to the movies, even on Friday and Saturday nights; the Granville that was lined with diverse and genteel shops, and pleasant cafes where one could meet with friends, like the Bon Ton, Rubin’s, and Scott’s… all this and much more. This is the Granville I miss. Not the pustulent sewer into which our beloved City fathers and mothers transformed it when they designated it as the “Entertainment District”. Three years ago or now, I see no difference. Granville used to have charm; it was our downtown main street, a street the whole city was happy to come to, and show off to visitors. Now it has gonorrhea. You like Granville the way it is now? You can bloody well have it, kiddo.

  • 118 Everyman // Jan 1, 2013 at 8:47 am

    @Threadkiller 112
    While I agree with your preference for the heyday of Theatre Row on Granville Street vs. the Binge Drinking Pit, the trees arrived much later, at the time the street was converted to a mall by TEAM.

    No trees during its neon heyday:
    http://www3.vpl.ca/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll?AC=GET_RECORD&XC=/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll&BU=http%3A%2F%2Fwww3.vpl.ca%2Fspe%2Fhistphotos%2F&TN=PHOTOS&SN=AUTO2318&SE=8785&RN=708&MR=20&TR=10000&TX=1000&ES=0&CS=0&XP=&RF=briefweb&EF=&DF=Full+Photo&RL=0&EL=0&DL=0&NP=2&ID=&MF=&MQ=&TI=0&DT=&ST=0&IR=16534&NR=0&NB=35&SV=0&SS=0&BG=&FG=&QS=&OEX=ISO-8859-1&OEH=ISO-8859-1

  • 119 Victor // Jan 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Re Granville Bridge loops.
    @ threadkiller
    Maybe they are not getting attention because the plan is to remove them. See future planning for the huge tower to be on the current storage site. (cnr Beach and Granville)

    The options for Westenders to get into and out of there homes is becoming even more limited.

    Burrard Bridge is also falling down, chunks dropping off underneath it and the balusrades on the deck have lost chunks of concrete, the rebar is exposed and rusting. What was a beautiful bridge has become an eyesore and a reminder of Vision’s failure to “stick to their knitting” and to stop wasting money on their pet projects while neglecting maintanence of important infrastructure.

    It beats me why it gets so little attention cause if i falls down, and the Granville Bridge loops are gone, how will services get in and out to the Downtown during a crises? There will be one huge rush to get on the Cambie Bridge or to exit the City on Hastings. Reassure me that I am wrong.

  • 120 Lee L. // Jan 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Psst…Victor…

    THEY DONT CARE.

  • 121 boohoo // Jan 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Lee L,

    Exactly. What they want is a disaster after they’ve done all this. They want thousands to die, bridges to crumble and emergency services to choke on the few remaining routes into town. If they’re lucky maybe it will be a large earthquake and some buildings will collapse as well, that will take some more ghg’s out of the atmosphere and kill off some more people so win win.

    Then they can take over the empty land and sell off the prime pieces to their american overlords for million dollar condos and then take over the remaining roads for community gardens and more bike lanes.

    You’re totally onto something here. Really.

  • 122 David // Jan 2, 2013 at 12:46 am

    I’d agree with Threadkiller, except for the street width and trees… 1967 http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/uploads/r/null/4/0/405558/76e970c2-009b-4585-a375-dcc2a4e3f32a-A58835.jpg

  • 123 Kenji // Jan 2, 2013 at 9:37 am

    @112

    I seem to have aroused your personal ire, and that was not intended.

    Also, not that it matters what I or any commentor am like personally, I don’t endorse binge drinking, and I am way old, settled, married, and early-rising to be a paying patron of this area as now constituted.

    I vaguely remember the Capitol being the large, glamourous cinema in town as well. The Man Who Would Be King in 70mm! But to me it was an adult (which is to say, immature hoser) area. I do not remember frolicksome family times, children skipping and so forth. I do remember playing rock gigs in bars up and down the street throughout the 80s and 90s. Your memory may be longer, but hasn’t that always been the peeler bar section of downtown?

    I’m talking improvement in relative terms. No, it’s not an organic dairy pasture lined with lollipops. However, having suffered through the No Fun City era, I find it excellent that the city has got a place to concentrate the Roxy-ish vibe and behaviour in one, shiny, revenue-generating, easy-to-police-cordon strip of the city, at the very meagre cost of removing the gross slum that it was.

  • 124 Kenji // Jan 2, 2013 at 11:09 am

    @ 111

    Happy New Year Roger, and all the fine folk of francesbula.com, especially Frances Bula!

    I checked out your site, your drawings are beautiful.

  • 125 teririch // Jan 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

    The only redeeming factor on Granville Street is the Commodore – everything else is shite.

    It caters to one group and one group only – there is nothing ‘cultural’ about it.

    The so called Granville St. entertainment district is cold and souless and it look it.

  • 126 teririch // Jan 2, 2013 at 11:57 am

    @gman #110:

    Any chance you watched the doc on CTV last night – Labour’s Pains?

    A true eyeopener to learn how public sector union benefits work hard to screw every taxpayer – even a union laywer had a hard time defending the various plans or schemes.

    To know that public sector unions (currently) have $606 B sitting in retirement funds for their members while everybody else gets to share $153 B (CPP) is just mind boggling…and yet they tell us they need more.

    Truly leaves a disgusting taste in your mouth.

  • 127 jolson // Jan 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Good bye 2012 and thanks to the earth and sun for one more successful planetary orbit.
    As for 2013 may you all have many circular adventures.

  • 128 waltyss // Jan 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Ah, teririch @121, it’s only the 2nd day of 2013, and you are spreading misinformation already. Now your post demonstrates your hatred of unions or at least public sector unions; that of course is your prerogative and is neither here nor there.
    You say: “public sector unions (currently) have $606 B sitting in retirement funds for their members” Well, no they don’t and while CTV probably didn’t say that, if they did, they were wrong.
    While they vary from province to province and the federal government, public sector pension funds are administered by independent pension corporations. In BC, for example, the BC Pension Corporation which is a crown corporation is set up by provincial statute to administer the pension funds for employees of the province, municipalities, schools, hospitals, colleges and universities, some crown corporations and WorkSafe BC.
    In round numbers an employee contributes about 8% and the employer about 10% of an employee’s salary to the plan, who invests the money and from that money provides pensions for approximately 500, 000 people in this province. There is no maximum on the contributions. They are designed to be self sufficient like CPP but unlike OPP. All of this is determined by statute most of it in this province by Social Credit or Liberal governments.
    By way fo contrast, CPP involves contributions of just short of 5% by each of the employee and the employer to the plan with a maximum contribution salary in 2012 of $50,100
    The Unions have no say and in the public sector are prohibited by section 12 of the Public Service Staff Relations Act from collective bargaining about “all matters included under the Public Service Pension Plan, continued under the Public Sector Pension Plans Act and th epension plan rules made under that plan.
    Both contributions and benefits are determned by that legislation. The legislation applies to both unionized and non union members of those services. A Deputy Minister is non-union but is covered.

    I know of nowhere in Canada where the public sector unions control the public sector pension plans.

    The benefits in BC usually are 2% of average of best 5 years of salary per completed year of service. For example, an employee who earned $50000 for their last 5 years of employment and was employed for 30 years would receive a pension of about $30000 per annum. The maximum CPP is short of $11,000 and most people receive less than the maximum.
    So, teririch:
    -the public sector unions do not cotrol these funds
    -since they do not control them, it is difficult to see how they are through their non control screwing the taxpayer.
    -the benefits are not limited to their members
    -CPP is not comparable since it is based on a much lower contribution and benefit rate. The NDP and federal Liberals have been pressing to increase the contribution and benefit rates for CPP but the Harperites resist.
    What really leaves a disgusting taste in my mouth is ignorance. Since we are in New Years resolution time, might I respectfully suggest that 2013 be a year of getting sound information before sounding off.
    Happy New Year, teri!

  • 129 Threadkiller // Jan 2, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    @Waltyss 123:
    Thanks for saying it both more eloquently and more politely than I would have.

  • 130 Maude // Jan 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    While will this city not throw a good, adult-oriented public NYE party where we can all drink champagne together and celebrate what is to come?

    Will the anti-social, no-fun crowd and regulators continue to dictate the pace of things in 2013?

  • 131 waltyss // Jan 2, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    @terrich: to continue with your education:
    First I was wrong, the maximum CPP benefit in 2012 was $11,840 (up to $12,150 in 2013. The average CPP pension is $528.49. Thank your buddy Stephen for not raising it to a decent amount, teri.
    Oh, and with CPP, you do not make contributions on the first $3500.
    Hope its not too many facts to absorb. And, this is just a suggestion, save your disgust for the Harper Tories who are doing precisely nothing to improve the lives of our seniors by enhancing pensions for too many of our old people who do not have adequate pensions rather than feeling disgusted by those who do.

  • 132 spartikus // Jan 2, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Teririch is also forgetting that many private employers offer pension plans. In fact, there is (currently!) $314 billion held in trusted private sector pension fund. This in addition to the $153 billion held by the CPP (which is a form of social insurance) that everyone contributes to and the $740 billion held in Individual Registered Saving Plans that everyone can participate in.

    But I’m sure these too are every bit as mind boggling and disgusting.

  • 133 brilliant // Jan 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    @waltsyss-I thought you weren’t a union member? Funny, but I’ve yet to hear of anybody who is not intimately involved with the beast to defend the poor public sector unions.

  • 134 waltyss // Jan 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    @brilliant not. I have decided to be nicer in 2013, even to you. However, there are limits.
    I am not defending the public sector unions; they can take care of themselves. I am defending fact, the truth, if you will. I appreciate it is an alien concept to you and some others. All I can suggest is perseverance and you may get the hang of it.

  • 135 gman // Jan 2, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    teririch@
    HNY,I missed the program you refer to but I will say that public sector unions seem oblivious to whats going on in the world.If the shift in world GDP is as was said in the link I posted,going from 80/20 in our favor to 35/65,it will be a grim reality that most of what the unions think they have won over the years will evaporate.As industry shrinks and private sector workers lose income and jobs it will be impossible to make good on all the perks and pensions.We are witnessing this right now in Greece.
    Governments and public sector unions produce no wealth they gain what they do through taxes.We are at a point now where these members incomes and pensions exceed what the average taxpayer gets and the taxpayers are held hostage to pay up by Governments who accept union donations in order to be elected.When this reality sets in Im afraid these people are in for a very rude awakening.
    PS: Im currently looking for a placer claim,Im hoping it will be a satisfying way to spend the rest of my retirement,what the hell I like camping and digging in the dirt anyway.LOL

  • 136 Richard // Jan 2, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    @gman

    I suggest watching your video again then doing about two minutes of research.

    The main point it is making is that the GDP of other countries is increasing. It doesn’t seem to be implying that ours will decrease. For Europe and the US, it claims the per capita GDP will be between $90,000 and $100,000 per year. Ours would likely be similar. It currently is around $40,000 per year. A large increase, not a decrease.

    Big difference.

  • 137 waltyss // Jan 2, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    @gman. Isn’t the internet grand, you can find whatever online conspiracy theory you want as well as friends to share your biases with.
    Let’s see, Liberals in power since 2001 and legislation on public sector has not changed. Can you point me to any public sector union donations to the BC Liberals? Just asking.
    Federally, Conservatives in power since 2008? and federal Liberals before them. NDP never. I am confident you will not see any union donations to the Harperites. Maybe a few to the Liberals, mostly to the NDP who have never been in power federally.
    However, gman, I am not writing this for you; I am not stupid and realize that you consider facts vastly overrated. This is for those with a(n open) mind.
    Thank you Richard, but as I said……

  • 138 gman // Jan 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Richard 136,
    I understand your point but if you take account of cost of living,loss of manufacturing and good paying blue collar jobs, an already shrinking middle class, the inevitable inflation due to the printing of money in the west and on top of these things the loss of 45% of world GDP and an increase in population,although not as great as in the developing countries I find it difficult to be optimistic.
    Now the question is after centuries of exploiting the third world for their resources have the tables turned and now we are to be the exploited….mmmmm.

    Waltys,these are neither a conspiracy nor a theory they are simple facts and if you think unions have no sway with the Government whether by contribution or lobby you are living on another planet.

  • 139 gman // Jan 2, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Waltys@
    I personally would give a hats off to the student who had the where with all to record and post a lecture by one of the most powerful and influential persons in the world,where else would you be able to access these opinions? Certainly not on the MSM.But you seem to equate anything on the internet with some kind of conspiracy.I don’t know about you Waltys but I’m thankful of this medium and being able to access other opinions and truths that will never be on the six o’clock news. By the way Waltys your on the internut now.

  • 140 Mark // Jan 3, 2013 at 8:50 am

    The old farts and bitter hearts can and will moan and groan, predicting our imminent doom and bemoaning the loss of the good old days (that were just maybe not quite so good as memory recalls). But little by little so many are working in their own ways to make our city a better place to live, for all of us.

    Progress is often lurching and slow, fits and starts, and occasionally we slip back, but if you look at the big picture and the long term, things are actually getting better.

    This is a good city in a good country, and I’d just like to extend my gratitude and best wishes to those who are working to make things even better for all of us.

    Happy New Year to all, and best of luck in the days ahead.

    And to the doomsayers and perpetual naysayers, I’d like to leave you the words of a wise fellow, said near the end of his long life:

    “I have great faith in optimism as a guiding principle, if only because it offers us the opportunity of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.” – Arthur C. Clarke, 1917-2008

  • 141 Roger Kemble // Jan 3, 2013 at 10:17 am

    The old farts, (that’s me),and bitter hearts, (not me: it’s bin fun all the way), can and will moan and groan, predicting our imminent doom and bemoaning the loss of the good old days . . . “ So say Mark @ #140

    Another bloody fool with his head stuffed so far up his fundamental aperture he can’t hear the bells toll for a waterlogged sinking ship full of denialists hoping for the best while the sharks troll.

    I am sure Butler’s Erewhoners felt the same way on their way to nowhere . . . .

  • 142 teririch // Jan 3, 2013 at 11:54 am

    @gman #135:

    Nice to hear back from the person my comment was posted to.

    Took zero time for the ususal suspects to put in their two cents worth.

    The program is well worth watching and it is current – part of a series by Paul Martineau (sp?)

    It was (sadly) interesting to learn about defined benefits, underfunded pensions etc. and well, the costs to the tax payer.

    I’ve ordered the book that was mentioned during the show: ‘Pension Ponzi: How Public Sector Unions are Bankrupting Canada’s Health Care, Education and Your Retirement’.

    As for waltyss assertion that the information is incorrect – I suggest he/she take it up with CTV, and the various economosits (both private and labour involved) that they interviewed through out the doc.

    Placer claims…. looking in Canada or the US? :D (I know of a few just up – in both.)

    Now, onto my next little tidbit… an interesting op ended up in my inbox….along with a pic showing Thomas Mulcair and David Eby doing a private gig at ….Joel Solomon’s house….. which beggs the question…. Why are those that are supposedly all about the ‘working people’- hobb knobbing with billionaires – that ‘nasty’ 1% many protested against?

  • 143 Boohoo // Jan 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    @142

    I know! Because they don’t really care about the little man and are just out to bilk hard working people out of their money so they can ship it offshore or to some American conglomerate who’ll use it to buy up land in Vancouver thereby increasing rents on everyone so gregor can claim we need more housing which of course is just a ruse to have million dollar condos built with some kickbacks for green washing it with wheat fields.

    Am I close? I love these passive aggresive, baseless, insinuation without fact or context questions!

  • 144 waltyss // Jan 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    @teririch: You just can’t help yourself, can you. I didn’t assert that the information on the CTV show was incorrect. I wrote: ”
    You say: “public sector unions (currently) have $606 B sitting in retirement funds for their members” Well, no they don’t and while CTV probably didn’t say that, if they did, they were wrong.”
    What you again demonstrate and thereby prove my point is that you are an incredibly poor historian of what you hear. In other words, what was said and your interpretation of it are usually universes apart. This is just one more example.
    Anyway, your biases are also known. Certainly, we can guess what the thesis is of “Pension Ponzi: How Public Sector Unions are Bankrupting Canada’s Health Care, Education and Your Retirement”. That may be one case where you don’t actually have to misinterpret to get its drift. Hell, you only have to read the title to get its drift.
    And as for Thomas Mulcair and David Eby meeting with Joel Solomon, I guess Solomon is so sneaky with his wealth that you are the only one that has realized he is a billionaire. Forbes and others seem to have missed this as they never seem to list him on their list of billionaires. Either Solomon cleverly hides his billionaire status or………….it’s just another example of a teririchism: definition: an assertion of facts that are fiction.
    Teririch. I not only wish you a happy new year but here is a respectful suggestion for 2013. Save your money on “Pension Ponzi: How Public Sector Unions are Bankrupting Canada’s Health Care, Education and Your Retirement”. I can give you the bottom line for free: “them public sector unions are f__cking ya big time, yessiree bob.” Now that I have told you how it ends, take the money you have saved and take a course on separating fact from fiction. Your life (and ours) will be immeasurably improved.

  • 145 gman // Jan 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

    teririch#142,
    You say (I know of a few just up – in both.)…arrrg…you didnt fill in the blanks LOL.
    Im a rookie at this and thought it would make for a good hobby or maybe more.Im looking in Canada for now and am searching the caribou on the MTO sight,just trying to get my bearings,wish me luck.
    As far as old king Joel meeting with Eby-Jeeby I would have liked to be a fly on the wall at that little shindig.Makes one wonder how Solomon an ex-pat trust fund baby has so much sway in our politics.What is even more disturbing is how people blindly defend these guys,how could anybody not question whats going on is amazing.

  • 146 waltyss // Jan 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    gman@145.
    It’s still the new year and so I am confident that you and/or your buddy teri the rich can give me an explanation of what you see as so “disturbing” about Joel Solomon inviting Thomas Muldcair and David Eby to his house.;
    Given the way our political system is structured, political parties need to raise money to run a campaign. The Americans provide an obscene example, ours is more modest but based on the same principal.
    In that process, politicians meet with like minded people to hear their views and solicit money. While despite teri the riches assertions, Solomon is not a billionaire, he has money. His views from what I can gather would be more in line with those of the federal or provincial NDP that with the federal Conservatives or Liberals and certainly the provincial Liberals.
    This goes on all the time. Do you have a problem when Peter Brown, the slimey foul mouthed Chair of Canarim Investments meets witth Christy Clark or Stephen Harper or has them over to his palatial home to meet like minded people and hit them up for money. I can assure you that it goes on all the time.
    So, what is your or teri the rich’s problem? I know you don’t like Joel Solomon’s (or for that matter, Thomas Mulcair or David Eby’s) politics. And that is fair enough and obviously your right.
    But if such a meeting is disturbing, why is it more disturbing than a meeting between Clark or Harper and wealthy business people on the right? Just because your views or teri the rich’s are in line with the right wingers? Hate to tell you that is not a reason.

  • 147 Higgins // Jan 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    ROTFLMAO!
    Waltyss post at #146, by far the most comical post of 2013!
    Americans, “Charity” money exchangers holding political gatherings in their Canadian homes, and inviting future tools of government for drinks and ideas LOL… nothing wrong with that, right?
    They do that (including future $$$ contributions) from the bottom of their “charitable” hearts.
    People-Are-Not-That-Stupid :-)

  • 148 Boohoo // Jan 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Totally higgins this is all just a ploy to screw over all of Vancouver and its citizens so that multi national American companies can make billions while smoking cigars and laughing.

    Totally.I just love this new energy for 2013.

  • 149 gman // Jan 4, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Waltyss#146,
    Thats deflection on your part Waltyss,the post referred to three specific people and questions what the motives could be.I personally have a problem with this kind of thing no matter who the party is.You try to deflect by inferring because someone else does it its somehow acceptable.But that is neither here nor there,it just shows that you are willing to defend them even though its wrong and you agree its wrong by referring to equally bad behavior by others.
    But you fail to recognize Soloman and his ties to foreign monies and groups that are having an effect on our elections.I would suggest the two are very different. Perhaps you could show us what Solomon has contributed to this country,is he creating any kind of significant employment or is he simply promoting an agenda for foreign NGOs.There is plenty of information available on this subject available but if you refuse to look at it with an open mind you will never understand it.

  • 150 gman // Jan 4, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Waltyss@
    You seem to use the word rich as though its somehow a bad thing.Its what we all want to be, its what we all want for our families,so whats your problem?

  • 151 waltyss // Jan 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    @Higgins. I appreciate that for you and other denizens of the looney right, Joel Solomon is a boogeyman extraordinaire. Believe what you want but anyone but the conspiracy theorists understand that such a meeting is what goes every day in this country between politicians and people with money who shares their political views of whatever political stripe. Like gman you may think such meetings are wrong regardless of the political stripe but I only hear you bleating in response to news of a meeting involving someone on the left and/or Joel Solomon.
    @gman, are you sure they don’t offer reading comprehension classes to people in their dorage?
    I did not say that it was wrong; so long as we have the political system we have, and political parties have to raise money to grease the wheels such meetings will go on with parties of every political stripe. I happen to believe that Peter Brown is a slime ball but I do not argue with his right to have the premier or prime minister over to hear his views and collect a cheque or two.
    Your suggestion that we all want to be rich is just plain wrong. If you believe that then you have spent too much time watching Fox Goebbels TV and reading the daily Fraser Institute article in the Vancouver Sun. The truth is most people want to make enough to support themselves and their families to a decent standard of living. Even of those who buy lottery tickets, they like to fantasize and would not be comfortable if they actually won. Personally I have nothing against being rich; I do know its not all its cracked up to be.

  • 152 waltyss // Jan 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    sorry gman, that should be reading lessons for people in their dorage, not dorage.

  • 153 gman // Jan 4, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Waltyss,
    So you think doing something thats wrong is really right as long as somebody else did it,strange logic.And Im not sure if I would compare a meeting with Brown who is the founder of Canada’s largest independent brokerage firm with Solomon a trust fund baby and a successful change agent.Just look at the difference in accomplishments of each and tell me which one you consider more important to the economy of the country.
    And Im a little confused when you say… are you sure they don’t offer reading comprehension classes to people in their dorage?…..are you saying Im in my gold plating?
    Now Im confused,or is my french is lacking.

  • 154 gman // Jan 5, 2013 at 12:02 am

    sorry Waltyss,or is my french is lacking,should say or is my french just lacking…..must be all that dorage.

  • 155 waltyss // Jan 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    sorry, gman, dorage not dorage.
    Peter Brown has made a lot of money selling deals that have netted little for the retail investor and a lot for him and the underwriters. I doubt he has created many jobs other than for those working at Canarim fleecing investors. He is also a really awful person.
    If you read what I said, it was not that it was okay because someone else did it. It was that the way our political system works each political party has to raise money to operate. They do it by meeting with and hitting up people who share their views.
    Clearly you like the views of the Peter Browns of the world. Good for you; that is your right. I don’t and that is my right.
    In any event, gman, while you have trouble following my French, I have trouble following your logic. Are you saying that Peter Brown having the premier or the prime minister to his house to whisper in their ear and give them cheques from him and his friends is okay but Mulcair and Solomon doing it is not, because according to you Brown is more accomplished. How do we measure that?
    Anyway, the bottom line of your logic is that such meetings on the political right are okay because they reflect your politics but not okay where the participants don’t. At least, I understand that “logic”.

  • 156 waltyss // Jan 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    God, three times, the same mistake. dotage, not dorage.

  • 157 gman // Jan 6, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Waltys @
    Its only more deflection on your part…tell me Waltyss do you guys take a course in it or something?

  • 158 waltyss // Jan 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    @gman: my question was straightforward. I guess you refuse to answer because my suggestion of your “logic” is right on. Or is it your dotage?

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