Home: an exploration of what makes the West End Unique

More photos of the walk
Guided Walk
I am helping my friend Christine with this Jane’s Walk of the West End.

Sunday, May 6, 2012
10:30 am
Meet at the front of the West End Community Centre

**This walking tour is part of the City of Vancouver, Museum of Vancouver and Spacing Vancouver’s special Jane’s Walk series.**

Join local resident Christine Ackermann and architect Graham McGarva to explore what makes the West End unique. A City of Vancouver planner will be on hand to answer questions about the West End Community Planning process and discuss opportunities to get involved.

Some of the walk will drawn from ideas from a WERA community workshop entitled “What makes the West End Great”.

There was a document produced from the workshop and it can be viewed here:What makes the West End Great

For more information on the West End Community Plan including opportunities to get involved, please visit West End Plan

SFU Professor Mark Jaccard to block the rails in White Rock to stop a coal shipment

Just in from Stopcoal.ca

For Immediate Release:

May 3 2012

Mark Jaccard, Canada’s leading energy-environment economist, released the following public statement today in support of the citizen action to stop BNSF coal trains at White Rock BC this Saturday, May 5.  Full details on this act of civil disobedience at stopcoal.ca/Action

Dr Jaccard is a professor of sustainable energy in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. He has won the Nobel Peace Prize as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Donner Prize for top policy book in Canada with his book Sustainable Fossil Fuels and the BC Academic of the Year Prize. He is Convening Lead Author for Sustainable Energy Policy with the upcoming Global Energy Assessment, an initiative of the world’s leading experts in sustainable energy.  He is the former Chair and CEO of the BC Utilities Commission. Continue reading SFU Professor Mark Jaccard to block the rails in White Rock to stop a coal shipment →

What is the NPA hiding? Why did NPA Council Candidate not file “Financing Disclosure Statement”?

Update: Tuesday May 8, 2012 from Councilor Geoff Meggs:Mr. Meggs website:
This just in: the NPA’s Francis Wong, so late filing his campaign finance disclosure that he is barred from running the next election, has now submitted his statements after all. Add $34,812 to the NPA’s total spending of $3.1 million.

Also circulated to the City Clerk, Mayor and council: an apology and a $500 penalty payment for late filing. Wong’s failure to file in time was disclosed at last week’s council meeting. He also missed the deadline for filing with a penalty payment, resulting in his prohibition from running in 2014. Continue reading What is the NPA hiding? Why did NPA Council Candidate not file “Financing Disclosure Statement”? →

Should the City of Vancouver build its own streetcar system?

What if every time one paid for parking in Vancouver the money you spent went to lay track and buy cars in a street railway system? It may seem far-fetched but it could happen. Currently in the “Parking Reserve Fund” there is $28 million and some of these dollars could fund a lot of track and cars.

Remember during the Olympics when the streetcar was running between Granville Island and the Olympic Village Canadian Line stop? It was a real treat to take a  ride on this little line. I rode it every chance I could.

Did you know that there is a right of way for a railway system that has be laid out to run from Granville Island to Coal Harbour? Imagine if we had a streetcar route through Stanley Park and up Davie St. to the Canadian Line at the Round House? Wow, this would be a transit game changer. What a tourist attraction and what an improvement to the Vancouver transit experience! Check out this map on the City’s website. Continue reading Should the City of Vancouver build its own streetcar system? →

Landscape and memory

The VW Bug

It is not an actual memory that I have, but a reconstructed one that was passed down to me from parents. I must have been 3 years old and my parents owned a VW bug. I still have memories of the smells of that car. I don’t know what it is about those cars, but they all smell the same. If I get in a bug now the smell brings me back to my childhood being in the back seat of that car. VW bugs, zippo lighters and Rothman cigarettes are my earliest memories.

The car was white with a red interior. No seat belts. Now in our uber-safety conscious mind it scares me to think that my sister and I rode in this car. That was the way the world was then. Continue reading Landscape and memory →

The West End community planning process is launching!

West End Community Plan

The West End Planning Team is about to begin a community-wide discussion about the future of the West End.

The West End community planning process will be an 18-21 month initiative to bring the community together to shape a new community plan for the West End. Continue reading The West End community planning process is launching! →

Photos from Earth Day: parade on the Drive and ivy busting in Stanley Park

More Photos

Two events for Earth Day-Sunday April 22, 2012

What are you going to be doing on Earth Day this year? Here are Two fun events that I know about for Sunday.

More Photos from Earth Day

Earth Day Ivy Busters in Stanley Park with MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert

Sunday, April 22, 2012
1 pm – 3:30 pm
Meet at the Stanley Park Pavilion

This event is going to be a lot of work, but the personal sense of accomplishment from contributing to a worth while project would be pretty high.

Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver West End and former Vancouver Park Board Commissioner is promoting an event to improve the habitat of Stanley Park by removing invasive plants. Ivy Busters is a long-term project of Stanley Park Ecology Society of which trains volunteers to remove ivy from the park.

Spencer is pitching in to recruit volunteers to help with this project on Earth Day this Sunday and has created a Facebook Event for folks to join.

The project is described in the following way on the Facebook Event:

Stanley Park’s natural habitats are being overtaken by invasive plants!

Join Stanley Park Ecology Society, and MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert for an enjoyable afternoon of habitat restoration this Earth Day, April 22nd from 1 to 330.
Be prepared for the weather, to get dirty, and to get physical out in the woods of BC’s favourite park. And please invite a friend!

For more info contact Greg: stewardship@stanleyparkecology.ca 604-718-6547.

“The Most Fun You Ever Had Saving the Planet”

Another great event on Earth Day is being organized by some high schools students who have formed a group called Youth 4 Climate Justice Now.

Here is Straight Story about the group:Stright article

Youth 4 Climate Justice Now
is organizing a parade and then a celebration that will start at the Grandview Hwy and Commercial Drive just North of the Sky Train Station to Grandview Park. I went to event similar to this last year and it was a lot of fun and there where loads of folks there. Here my photos from last year:2011 Earth Day photos

There is also a Facebook Event for this and one can join here:Facebook

On Facebook the event is described by the organizers in the following manner:

It is our hope to recapture the roots of earth day as a celebration and a vehicle for environmental action. The parade event will be a celebration of positive change with a focus on global warming and social justice. Our goal is to fill the streets with thousands(!) of people so please bring your family, friends, dogs, cats, hop on your bike, create banners or dress up in costumes… lets make this day a memorable one!

There is also a petition one can sign on the issue of pipe lines and the tar sands here:Stop Tanker Petition

NPA starts its transit war on Broadway. Rookie Councilor proposes Monster Buses on Broadway

April 17, 2012- 3 pm, Update from Council on Bigger Buses on Broadway

Today when Councilor Affleck moved his motion to allow bigger buses on Broadway (see motion), in a “friendly gesture” to improve the rookie Councilor’s motion, Councilor Geoff Meggs offered the following Resolve to improve the motion:

council direct staff to work with Translink to:

• identify and evaluate practical and cost-effective measures to increase capacity on the Broadway Corridor including bus priority measures, all-door loading, express bus options and bi-articulated buses;
• identify restrictive regulations that limit access to increased capacity and recommend steps to eliminate them; and
report on the outcome of this review as part of the transportation strategy update now under way.

The motion was eventually adopted by Council after some wrangling on the intent of the new resolve for the motion.

Sadly the possibility of a quick solution to improving the buses on Broadway is something that is going to take more time as today Translink announced that it was suspending all new projects because of the lack of funding. You can read more about this in the Globe and Mail by Frances Bula.Funding gap forces TransLink to suspend expansion plan

Continue reading NPA starts its transit war on Broadway. Rookie Councilor proposes Monster Buses on Broadway →

Worm composting and Food Scrap DropSpot


Worm Composting
While the West End and the Downtown Peninsula is still waiting for comprehensive composting system for multi-unit buildings, in the interim worm composting can be an effective way to reduce waste by diverting organic material from going to landfills.

The City of Vancouver is making a limited number of worm composters available for $25 which is a really great deal. One has to take a one hour workshop at City Farmer to learn how to work the system correctly. More information is available on the City’s website
CoV Worm Composters

Food Scrap DropSpot

Another option for diverting organic waste from the landfill is a Farmer’s Markets DropSpot which is located at Gordon Neigbourhood House at 1019 Broughton in the West End. It is also at the Winter Farmers Market on Nat Bailey Stadium (30th and Ontario St.) This was started as a pilot project at the West End Farmers Market last year and has developed into an expanded program at Gordon House and the Farmers Market. One can save organic waste and bring it to the DropSpot on Saturday for a donation of $2. For more info on this great project check out their website that has interesting data on how much organic wasted was collected last year for all you composting data nerds. DropSpot