Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Livin' La Vida Loca in LoLo

The ever interesting Price Tags blog had a short post last week titled "North Van City Waterfront: Persistence Pays."  It offers a very upbeat assessment of all of the changes down around Lonsdale Quay.
The City of North Vancouver has been working on the transformation of the Lower Lonsdale properties at the waterfront for … well, it seems like decades.  After all, Lonsdale Quay and the Seabus Terminal opened in the late 1970s – but the lands to the east retained their industrial purpose, with little change to the property at the very foot of Lonsdale.  There was no there there.
Now, with the development of the Versatile lands and the arrival of the Polygon Gallery, it’s coming together. 
Reading that got me thinking that the City has done a pretty good job of building a successful "town centre" in Lower Lonsdale, with the requisite density, restaurants, shopping, and the upcoming move of the Presentation House Gallery. (Which I gather will sadly be renamed after the developer, Polygon.)

The District has "town centers" in the works at Lynn Valley, the bottom of Mountain Highway, and the foot of Capilano Road.   I wonder what lessons can be learned from the City.

At a minimum I'd argue that density alone isn't enough.  You need varied shopping options, entertainment or cultural options, easy transit connections, and hopefully some sense of the history of the neighborhood.

More details on the Lower Lonsdale developments here.

Friday, December 02, 2016

North Van Politics: Under New Management

Hello passionate people!  This a very short notice to tell you that  John Sharpe, our hard-working Admin of the last few years, is taking a well-deserved break from overseeing the North Vancouver Politics site.

I'll be stepping in, and hope to do a respectable job of filling his shoes.

You're absolutely invited to email me directly with any ideas or suggestions. I'm all ears.

In the meantime, I was intrigued to discover that, according to Google, more than half of the pageviews for the blog are coming from Japan.  Who knew?

Barry Rueger

Entry...............................  Pageviews
Japan................................  611
Canada.............................  275
United States.................... 107
Germany............................  56
China................................   28
Portugal............................   26
Moldova...........................   21
France..............................   15
Russia..............................   15
Ukraine..............................  6

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

There Will be Oil!

In celebration of one year as Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has gone ahead and approved the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain oil pipeline that runs into our fair ecosystem.
Once completed, the $.6.8 billion Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project will increase the capacity of existing infrastructure to 890,000 barrels per day, up from 300,000 bpd.  The 1,150 kilometre pipeline expansion would run from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., where it would pump Alberta-mined bitumen and synthetic product onto tankers which would sail through (local) waters for Asian markets.
There is no shortage of opinion out in the wilds of the Internet, and no doubt there are several court challenges to come, but at the end of the day our new eco-friendly PM has thrown in his lot with the petro producers of Alberta.

Several Lower Mainland municipal governments opposed this pipeline, as does our own local Tsleil-Waututh Nation, but it appears we're stuck with it anyhow.

At least the Premiers of Alberta and BC seem happy.

Local MP Jonathan Wilkinson, the parliamentary secretary to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, was quoted by CBC as saying,
"Within my riding there is a group that is opposed, and opposed and opposed, and will always been opposed," he said. "And then there's a group who's in favour, and in favour and will always be in favour. And then there's the vast majority, in the middle, who have legitimate questions and concerns that they want to ensure are addressed."
I guess that I fall into the first group, and would have been happier if a our shiny happy new Federal government had decided to work to eliminate fossil fuels and global warming.

Oh well, as they might say in Westmount, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

Too good not to add.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

One Year Since Trudeau Elected

Wow how time flies! Recently the North Vancouver Liberal Constituency Association sent out reminders of a volunteer appreciation event in Lynn Valley to celebrate "one of the greatest victories in Canadian political history".

So how is our North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson doing for us anyway?

Friday, November 11, 2016

On this Remembrance Day...

A couple days ago, Donald Trump was elected US President on the 78th Anniversary of “Kristallnacht”, November 9th (and 10th). Since then, there has been civil unrest in America (and in Canada) over the democratic choice of the people. It has resulted in violence and vandalism.

How many of those protesters were among the 46.7% who chose to not vote in the US election on November 8th, I wonder? This protest has even spilled into Canada, ie. the protest on Georgia Street, last night. The cries of  "KKK" and swastikas being painted on buildings, etc. across America is scary... The irony of history repeating itself...? And now, Canada...

The North Shore News has also published that a swastika has been found spray-painted on a road in Edgemont: http://www.nsnews.com/news/swastika-spray-painted-on-north-vancouver-street-1.2625586

But, more concerning is the story that was not told by our same local media, a few months ago, about an offensive map published on social media that made a former North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA) President, now District Councillor, smile after a long day’s ride in the woods. It was brought to District Council's attention, earlier this year. To no avail...

It was about a map of Fromme Mtn. trails and adjacent neighbourhoods, especially that of Upper Lynn Valley, plastered with swastikas drawn on it, from the popular local-based mountain bike website: NSMB. 

The Councillor in question knows about it and had more than ample chance to apologize to the community over his juvenile quip he made in 2010 while representing the face of the NSMBA (as an adult -- not a 16 year old teenager, who also commented on the nasty Nazi map.) And, especially, after he was elected to public office to serve the whole community. He did not, and still has not. The more concerning part is that DNV Mayor and Council has stood by his silence on the matter. And, the North Shore News did not make any mention of it in their reporting. It was conveniently ignored.

What happens to our freedoms and public safety when our elected members remain silent on such matters? Have those men and women we honour on Remembrance Day, every year, died in vain, as our leaders, authorities, media, and others stand by such young politicians who think swastikas and Nazis are funny, and, thus, see no need to apologize for it, or even urge a sincere apology to the community they have been elected to serve? 

Myself and a few others would like to see this young Councillor issue a sincere public apology to the community as a whole, ASAP -- or step down from public office. To do neither is to spit in the faces of those who fought to their death for our freedoms and democracy against the Nazis and their crooked cross. 

Lest We Forget! Never Again! Write council@dnv.org for action on this matter. Thank you.