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: 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

Signs of spring: Sun Run is this Sunday April 15, 2012, street closures and transit info

Signs of spring, don’t forget that the Sun Run is this Sunday. Don’t even think of driving downtown on Sunday till well into the afternoon. Best to walk, ride your bike or take the bus. Continue reading Signs of spring: Sun Run is this Sunday April 15, 2012, street closures and transit info →

Does the City of Vancouver need a rental advocate?

City of Vancouver Rental Advocate

The City of Vancouver needs a full-time Renters’ Advocate to support renters who are being evicted from their homes and to be a voice from the City to the Province on the need to revise the Residency Tenancy Act (RTA). Since the Provincial government has changed the RTA and moved the Resident Tenancy Branch office from where to where? , renters’ security of tenure has been significantly affected and the appeal process has become much more difficult.

Vacancy rates have declined while rents continue to increase and the power imbalance between renters and owners is decidedly in favour of landlords. From “Renoviction”, “geographic catch-up” clauses and Byzantine appeal processes, the conditions for renters in the City of Vancouver have lacked both stability and consistency. These issues have been chronicled by the Renters at Risk Campaign and can be view at their website: Renters At Risk Continue reading Does the City of Vancouver need a rental advocate? →

Rally to Defeat Bill C-31 “Defend the Rights of all Immigrants and Refugees

more photos from the rally

On Wednesday, April 4, at 2pm at 300 West Georgia (at Hamilton St. across from the CBC Building) a rally is being organized to protest the Stephen Harper Government’s Bill C-31, which will affect the rights of immigrants and refugees. Continue reading Rally to Defeat Bill C-31 “Defend the Rights of all Immigrants and Refugees →

A march in defense of public education Sunday April 1, 2012, Vancouver Art Gallery

more photos
Monday morning update: Opps, march was organized by Occupy Education.

In yet another page in the book of growing inequalities in Canadian society students from the Canadian Federation of Students BC and other supporters of public education rallied at the Vancouver Art Gallery to raise the issue of increased student debt from higher tuition fees and the lack of direct support to students and post-secondary education by government.

Here is a link to the Canadian Federation of Students BC with a lot of content on the issue:CFSBC

The Canadian Federation of Students-BC, represents 150,000 university and college students in the province and has a launched a new campaign entitled Education Shouldn’t be a Debt Sentence.

It would be a troubling trend if the wealthy were the only ones who could be able to afford university because of the high cost of tuition and the lack of progressive grants and loan programs from different levels of government. Access to education should be based on merit and also be used as a tool to aid social mobility as well as to better integrate different elements of Canadian society. This requires that government take action on adequately funding post secondary education.

West End Mayor’s Advisory Committee (WEMAC) Recommendations – 2011 Community Priorities Survey

Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Advisory Committee (MEMAC) recommendations that were dated March 17, 2012, will be considered by Vancouver City Council’s Standing Committee on Planning, Transportation and Environment at its meeting on:

DATE:    Wednesday, March 28, 2012
TIME:    9:30 am
PLACE:    Council Chamber
Third Floor, City Hall

The agenda for the meeting and the relevant report can be viewed at: Meeting Agenda no later than the Friday preceding the meeting.  Hard copies will also be available upon request at that time.
WEMAC Report

If you wish further information on this matter, please contact Kevin McNaney at 604.871.6851.  If you wish to address the Standing Committee, please call me at 604.873.7191, by 1:00 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.  Please note speakers are requested to limit their comments to no longer than five minutes. Continue reading West End Mayor’s Advisory Committee (WEMAC) Recommendations – 2011 Community Priorities Survey →

Play, live, work and die in Vancouver. 2000 spots open up at the Vancouver Cemetery.

a view of the Vancovuer Cemetery from the CoV website

On the City of Vancouver’s website the Vancouver Cemetery has announced that 2000 new spots have opened up.
Vancouver Cemetery

The announcement states the following:

“Vancouver’s only cemetery is located west of Fraser Street between 31st and 43rd Avenues. The cemetery’s beautiful vistas and central location make it a place where many Vancouverites have chosen to honour the memories of their family and friends, and go for quiet contemplation. It’s a unique, open space where city history is preserved.

Owned and operated by the City of Vancouver since 1886, Mountain View is made up of 106 acres of land with approximately 92,000 grave sites and 145,000 interred remains.

For the first time in more than 23 years Vancouver’s only cemetery has new spaces available for purchase. The award winning construction project at Mountain View Cemetery has resulted in more than 2,000 new spaces available for cremated remains.”

Not surprising given Vancouver aspirations to be the “Greenest City”, Vancouver Cemetery is a member of the Green Burial Council, which has established more environmental safer practices of burial that do not require embalming, expensive vault lids or a concrete box. One can even be buried in a shroud.

The Vancouver cemetery is proud to state: “Since its opening in 1887 Mountain View Cemetery has had few restrictions on burials leaving the majority of decisions to individual choice.”

My letter to my MP, the Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry on the spring budget and FCM recommendations

13 March 2012

Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry MP

Re: Federation of Canadian Municipalities recommendations to develop more affordable housing in Vancouver

Dear Dr. Fry:

As you know, Mayor Gregor Robertson, in his capacity as the Chair of Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FMC), is calling on the Federal Government in its spring budget to allocate funds to create more affordable housing.

Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada to live in. The City of Vancouver (CoV) and the Province of British Columbia have been taking steps to solve the homelessness crisis. In 2005, the CoV passed its Homeless Action Plan, which had 87 recommendations for all levels of government.  The plan was updated in 2008 with specific policy recommendations for the Federal Government to create more affordable housing including the recommendation to develop a national housing plan. The CoV also made the following 3 recommendations: Continue reading My letter to my MP, the Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry on the spring budget and FCM recommendations →