Friday, 29 August 2014

Villa City Hall



On the home-page of the City's website, 29 Aug, 2014, under Public Notices:
Nelson Landing Neighbourhood Open House - Sept. 3 and 17, 2014, at 4 pm.

Clicking on that takes you to its very own page and under the same heading:
Nelson Landing Corporation is hosting a neighbourhood Open House for residents to review the proposed rezoning application for 1200 Sproat Drive - commonly referred to as "Nelson Landing".
Join the developer on Wed, Sept. 3rd or Wed, Sept. 17th from 4-6 pm on the site under tents. In the event of poor weather, an indoor location will be announced. Check here (www.nelson.ca) or on the development website ..... for updates.




Not only is this development poorly received by residents(?) and Nelson in general when initially before Council - asking for and promptly receiving a stack of variances based on "plans" then - now here comes rezoning! This time around expecting enthusiasm from same residents?

No matter what the proposed rezoning: this is urgently about (not!) selling! Thus surely requiring additional variances - and if so: probably receiving them. What with Council enjoying nothing more than an urbanesewhatever-density-mixeduse-taxrevenue variance!
This brings to mind the City earlier working out a substantial parking-variance for Nelson Commons - blatantly to save them money - long before even applied for. And what will happen to that variance - shorter, narrower parking-slots, etc. - if/when Nelson Commons goes away!
Not to forget Council's still unresolved Kutanai Landing fiasco.




Seeing that construction of Nelson Landing actually was to start over 2 months ago - depending on enough buyers' commitment - they're in a Nelson Commons fix: no customers, and they don't even need many for one building-unit - as contingency-planned! So now Nelson Landing comes-up with perfunctory we-care get-togethers obviously open to all and hint-hint just in case bring your check-book on a convenient for everybody Wednesday afternoon between 4 and 6.

And City Hall facilitates this private, for-big-profit, CORPORATE job, with giving it miles of free advertising on the taxpayer-funded City website. No matter how City Hall may justify this one - if at all! - it's a sales-pitch! And - be still, my heart! - standing by and ready to continue giving free, legitimizing updates: should the weather be too weathery and stuff.




Clearly - this proposed Open House (free appies?) should be prominently and paid-for advertised in/on/thru local news-media. It does not appear in today's (Friday's) Nelson Star - so it's on the City website's home-page only, and how many read that, particularly what with some items there routinely several months old.  But - even if nobody (ideally for the developer!) shows up next Wednesday afternoon - the main thing: Can't say we didn't try!

I send an e-mail to Mayor Dooley, Council, Legal Eagle Long and CAO Cormack, expecting this ad to be pulled. By someone there there!

So do keep checking City Hall on www.nelson.ca for the weather. And if they did pull it.
And this blog for City Hall in brazen cahoots and could it get any worse - with an election imminent yet.



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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Exciting Redevelopment of YOUR Co-op!


With Board-election starting at the store, Sep. 1, a Meet the Candidates Event at the Expressions Cafe, Sep. 9, and the AGM with election finishing at the New Grand Hotel, Sep. 24, - the Co-op has produced info on all this in 8-page-plus-insert hard-copy, available at the store's service-counter and on www.kootenay.coop.

Optics continue to be poor - the old shooting-in-the-foot thing!

YOU-WHO!!!
On its front-page - prominently against a green ribbon - it says:
As a member of the Kootenay Co-op
YOU are an owner!
Following somewhat smaller - the YOU still prominent:
YOU have an important voice and an important vote that helps determine the future direction of your community natural food store.

While ever so telling of the General Manager's (GM) and Board's actual attitude towards the Co-op's member-owners: nowhere in these 8 pages - not in general info, neither the 2 incumbents' Candidate Profiles nor the exiting Board President's lengthy farewell - is the Nelson Commons condo-project mentioned!
Not once - zilch, nada, nothing!
Clearly - once again - a decision is made by THEM to deliberately exclude YOU.  

2 Incumbents
One AGM-agenda item will be a Development Report by Leon Pigott, Board Director. Who - in his Profile - states: I am excited about being involved with the redevelopment of the Co-op. Meaning what: seeing that neither the GM nor the Board seem to - unfortunately for YOU - have any inclination to redevelop it. Development/redevelopment? Obviously - this incumbent is neither here nor there.

The other incumbent - Jon Steinman - believes at this stage in the Co-op's evolution, it's extremely important for the Board to be sustained by experienced Directors who can carry our redevelopment project through to completion. What's he worried about: there probably will only be 1 new Director - easy enough to sit on! Of course - unless Steinman himself is voted out! Gasp! Game over! Experienced? Actually it's inexperience and egos only buying this unsuitable property - in terms of size/price - to then come-up with a simplistic possible cash-cow to pay for it: Nelson Commons condos. Seeing that Steinman has not been forthcoming - over the last 2 years - with basic info of concern to many member-owners: does he deserve ...YOUR support once again to represent YOU for the coming two years?

2 Possibles
Considering that the GM declares WE have the support of the majority of OUR membership to move this project forward: 2 Director-possibles only - from the supporting majority - is rather paltry. As is the number of condos thus far bought by same.

Anyway - Olindo Chiocca, Board-junkie, has the distinction of being the only one in this hand-out mentioning Nelson Commons (once; must have slipped through!) - sounding just like any member of any Board in Nelson: I am excited about the Co-op's development project and would like to contribute what I have learned... and I would like to contribute whatever I can to its success as it creates Nelson Commons and moves to a larger space. Also sounding precipitous. And out-of-step.

The other possible - Laran Kriese - so far seemingly untouched by a Board-virus - keeps it short, simple, straight: no mention of developments, redevelopments, Nelson Commons - he probably doesn't stand a chance of getting himself elected. Within this political democracy: no room for integrity.




4 Continuing
Just look at those sunshine-gals! That interchangeable fixed glow! The one thing standing-out for me with this group: in the last AGM one of them - speaking for all - says that an advantage in living at Nelson Commons is not having to use one's car so much. Right-on!
They - for once wisely - are not called upon to express themselves in this hand-out.


Exiting Board President
In the heading of her smarmy swan-song she is excited to watch (the) redevelopment project move forward. But while mentioning the Extra site, the new store and a vibrant, dynamic downtown: No Nelson Commons! 
                                                                                                     
Our Mission Statement
Promote community involvement... promoting community interchange of ideas... In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
True - when nudged members possibly believe in all that. Also true - definitely neither the GM nor the Board are performing their duties upholding this tradition.                                                                                                    
AGM Teaser 
At the bottom of the last page: Find out about the Store & the Redevelopment Project. Distinction? Irregardless! 
Could it be THEY have already decided to discontinue the Nelson-Commons foolishness but to not let this be known before the AGM - to avoid attendance of too many disgruntled-thus-prepared member-owners? THEY just wanting to be able to quickly-smoothly run it by the usual agreeable-to-anything-Co-oppy nucleus? 

Whatever - literally! - YOU will know if/when THEY are ready to tell YOU!









When I cancel my member-ownership I receive a check for $50. My membership-fee paid years ago. No interest. No rebate for months as member-owner thus far this year.
Just sayin'!





The Co-op is currently looking for a new Finance Manager
 www.kcds.ca/index.php/job-board/jaview/303-finance-manager 






Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Life: According to the Board (and GM)



Kootenay Co-op AGM
Wed. 24 Sep./6:00pm
New Grand Hotel, Vernon St.

Do Go!



Because this should be when member/owners (M/Os) find out whether or not the unauthorized-by-them Nelson Commons condo-block will be built. 
This should also be when those concerned will finally become informed of the never before divulged unauthorized-by-M/Os financing of this project's preparation: exactly how much/from what sources and based on what reasoning. 
And what about a yearly member-rebate withheld previous to all this to - supposedly - be applied toward eventual construction of a new store: there being no construction-fund per se - according to management - where did this go, and how much was it?
And - most important, if these condos will not be built - how M/Os can expect the team of Board of Directors (Board)/Deirdrie Lang, General Manager (GM)/Russell Precious, Project Manager (PM) to make good on the by now surely sizable hole in these M/O-generated funds.

M/Os may also learn what's happening with the ever so urgently needed store - after over 2 years of not as urgent as.

So do go! And be ready to demand answers - it's YOUR money! YOUR Co-op - not so much!

With this moment of truth - figure of speech - drawing near, I contact the BC Co-operative Association (BCCA) to become clearly informed about responsibilities of co-ops toward their members. Which I figure have to be set in stone - seeing that a co-op is not a co-op without members to co-op with.
Following is my letter to the BCCA:

  
4 Aug. 2014

To: Carol Murray, Executive Director
murray@bcca.coop 
CC: Kevin Harding, Director - Co-op Development
harding@bcca.coop

Directors -

Aim
As a registered member/owner (M/O) of the Kootenay Co-op (The Co-op), Nelson BC, I have concerns which have not been addressed by it in available print-literature, electronically provided info to the general membership and my numerous e-mails asking the Board, GM and PM for clarification. Either receiving replies of vague generalities - uniformly circumventing issues in question - or no replies at all. I will gladly provide you with e-mails sent and replies-if to them.

The lack of willingness/candor alone is troubling - while at the same time - this co-op's rules give all M/Os a democratic voice of equal value, this value first-and-foremost held high at all times. There clearly are issues around the meaning of co-op within this co-op.

My aim in connecting with you is to learn from the BCCA about parameters of this kind of co-op's management/board-responsibility towards its M/Os: extraordinary large-scale development-thus-financing decision-making and the M/Os' participation in it.




Background
Following is a brief history of what leads me to contacting you today:

In a meeting, March 2012, The Co-op asked the M/Os present for approval of removing the clause that no more than 75% of reserves may be invested. In an e-mail to me Deirdrie Lang, General Manager, 4 Jun. 2014, wrote these funds were for acquiring and developing the new property.
The property in question is a very large, centrally located - thus very expensive - piece bought by The Co-op for a new store. A building - previously a supermarket - is part of it.
Yet in this March meeting the focus was on rehabilitating the building only - no other plans were on the table. Thus when the majority - 119 of the M/Os present - voted in favor of removing the 75%-clause, this narrowly focused on reserve-funds-as-were-then for a store only! Neither the Board nor the GM or PM did present ideas for any other possible use of existing/future reserves ad infinitum after removal of the clause. Lang's rather broad for acquiring and developing the new property was simply not the issue of this meeting.

Which exclusively revolved around a larger store and finally having found it! M/Os were encouraged to sign-up for focus-groups: how best to utilize the store-space - immediately after the meeting. This was the last - and only - time the general membership was asked to engage on a participatory level.

Because after a while of silence on the store-topic word on the street suddenly had it that The Co-op was going to replace the existing supermarket-structure with a condo-block.
Even though The Co-op has its M/Os' postal addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of most: the general membership was not formally introduced to/asked to vote on the idea; it was not informed of the scheme's funding; it was not informed of this new seemingly-separate-but-maybe-not entity - Nelson Commons - and who was to run it how.

From Lang's initial cultural center of the region to a condo-block in one fell swoop was a shock to many, particularly when became public that this was not to be co-op- or social-housing and clear that having bought too large, too expensive too hastily wanted "real" money to pay-off thus-incurred debts. With questionable motivation, poor advise and the market a blind-spot within a very small decision-making group: a condo-block - ironically - at $27 million! Their view was: most condos will be snapped-up by M/Os - what with The Co-op having taken-on a sheen of can-do-no-wrong over the years.

This view has been somewhat dispelled in the meantime: not enough of these condos are selling to enable financing from the banks, and dates for/of everything have fallen way behind. Still - full-page newspaper ads continue to advertise the same non-news, and M/Os are lured into the Nelson Commons sales-office with oyster-appies.

While all along there has been little mention of the store - except: it will rent space in the condo-building and The Co-op going into a loan-drive to pull together $1.5 million for store-fixtures. Seemingly no room for financing the store proper has been allowed in the condo-scheme - fixtures will be bought with no-advantage/unsecured loans made to The Co-op by M/Os.

These loans - according to fine print - can be reallocated as the Board sees fit.


What If?
For some time now it has been apparent to many here that Nelson Commons more than likely won't get off the ground. The whole process of this lengthy - obviously very costly - double-project's preparation has lacked transparency, there has been no accountability. My questions - how much preparations thus far have cost the M/Os and how they were financed - have not been answered; the PM did not reply.

All I have learned from Lang: information on the project's expenditures will be made available in the AGM, Sep. 2014; Nelson Commons thus far has been funded partly with reserves and partly with store-income; the project is within its budget; and we have the support of the majority of our membership to be moving this project forward.

(Not part of the letter - just incredulity wanting to be expressed here now: 
What is this odd partly reserves and partly store-income? Store-income left over after application to overhead - is profit to then sit in the bank as savings. It's just that co-ops don't talk about profit/savings - with them it's reserves. It would be stupid to use part of store-income as such for the condo-folly before all given obligations are met. Reserves? Store-income? What! 
Considering that the majority isn't buying into it, and The Co-op has not reached out to its M/Os in a timely, truly informative - co-operative - manner: I don't see a basis for this assertion of having the majority's support. All along the project has been run by a few tight-lipped insiders only - the majority only knows from carefully tailored repetitious superficiality. And Lang has stated to me elsewhere that reaching all M/Os is just not doable.)

My questions to you:
1.
Can a co-op legally invest - on this scale - funds generated/owned by M/Os without permission from them?
2.
Can said funds - generated by a not-for-profit co-op - be simply and legally applied to a to-be-for-profit project without at least consultation with the M/Os?
3.
Does a co-op have legal permission to start a new, separate, non-co-op business-entity, using the M/Os' funds for this without their approval?
4.
To what extent can M/Os reasonably expect to be involved in approval/decision-making processes of this scale?
5.
Seeing that in this case M/Os never agreed to a $27 million condo-block and use of their funds to propel it forward: if this project does not come off - who will be legally responsible and in what practical manner - for the clearly substantial loss of M/O-funds through the Board, GM and PM?


End of letter (without pictures)


While Executive Director Murray
unco-operatively does not reply at all - Director Harding informs me that answers to my questions may only be found in my co-op's bylaws. And - in so many words - that they aren't about to go near what may be other people's legal stuff. I see his point. Yet I wonder at this association's purpose of facilitating co-ops getting started without basic tenets regarding management/member-relations. 

So I figure I get the Kootenay Co-op's bylaws and ask the Board and Lang for them in an e-mail. To find that Lang - on-again-off-again once again - has blocked me from reaching her via e-mail (as did Jocelyn Carver, Marketing & Outreach(!) Manager, quite some time ago). Selectively co-operative with M/Os.

I inform the Board of being blocked by the GM - this in a second message. After all, one must wonder how many messages from others may not get through because of an M/O's aura of inconvenience - and I-never-blocked-you Lang contacts me.
The Co-op's Rules of Association (bylaws) are not on-line: kept at the office and available for viewing there. Copies no - notes yes. I make an appointment.

And ask myself why I didn't take this route 2 years ago.



  
The Artless Dodgers
Not on-line because we don't want everybody to know - this bylaw is about the Board's doings only: broad, flat, shallow, totally devoid of co-operative spirit. In fact: dead(ly).
M/Os mentioned just once when their approval is needed to remove the pesky - while crucial here - 75% rule. Otherwise they are not among the Board's responsibilities - not even morally. Of a political - certainly not social - democracy. Sound familiar?
Thus the above questions to the BCCA - in fact most of my Nelson Commons concerns over the last 2 years, based on reasonableness and waiting for co-operation to kick-in - are now barking up a dead horse within this co-op's context.
Board members - according to the bylaw and Lang - are elected by the M/Os to do anything they alone may choose in their collective wisdom. And if there's no wisdom: can't win 'em all! This should scare many - what with these members just average hapless, glutenfree treehuggers themselves. Yet with the Harper coming through loud and clear! That at The Co-op!

They don't need the M/Os' approval for the condos; they don't even have to inform them. So - while no repeat removal-approval sought - financing of condo-preparations probably has been run at least in part on said initial 75%-removal - simply shifted over who's to notice - even though that removal - one more time! - is M/O-approved solely for the store. No matter how those in charge worded their records after the meeting: the 75%-removal-approval of March 2012 does not apply to use of reserves towards the condo-project today! I know I repeat myself with this - but!




It is safe to say - no matter how the Board and GM have tweaked it: at least part of the condo-preparations are financially murky. Which brings into question the whole Nelson Commons thing. But as the Board needn't be accountable to member/owners - unless a legal angle can be clearly defined: nobody will be (held) responsible for the stream of funds lost, wasted and/or paid-out in salaries - if Nelson Commons proves to be dead in the water.

When I ask Lang when the yes/no on condos will be announced she says at the end of September and I say why not at the AGM on the 24th and she says we're not sure yet. Dodging and weaving, ever dodging and weaving!

If Nelson Commons goes down: the same already flatlining Board will be in charge of Plan B - the store. Maybe reallocate the $1.7 mill in loans for starters? And if somehow that phase gets muddled through: there's the supermarket! - not just a larger store! - to be run! Fundamentally different dynamics!

Interestingly - the only person in this decision-making group - not on the Board! - with experience in larger-scale development-projects is also the only person with real supermarket-experience. Russell Precious, PM. They('ll) need (and compensate!) him (well) as the only stabilizing presence between more myopic decisions coming from just being tired of it all and a possibly irreversible meltdown the result. 
As in the faster they go - the behinder they get.

Could happen!


Co-op Board
board@kootenay.coop 
 
Deirdrie Lang
dlang@kootenay.coop

Russell Precious
russellprecious@shaw.ca








Having no confidence in the Kootenay Co-op's GM/Board and their interpretation of the term "co-operative" - I have decided to cancel my member/ownership in this grocery-store as of today, 14 Aug. 2014.



Cruise by Orion, swing north at Sagittarius, lay over a bit at Rigel. Starflight has always seemed impossibly romantic. The reality is somewhat different. One sits sealed in a narrow box for weeks at a time amid strangers who prattle on and at the end of the voyage arrives at a place where the air is not so good, and the crocodiles are fierce.

                                                                  Life Among The Savages
                                                                                  Melinda Tam, 2221


  




Friday, 1 August 2014

So Shoot Me!












Sometimes I think it should be a rule of war that you have to see somebody up-close and get to know him before you can shoot him.

                                                                               Colonel Potter
                                                                                             M.A.S.H.




















Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nelson Lite(s)



Whether or not this year to add more Baker Street Xmas-hoopla to last year's takes-up more time/energy in the Regular Council Meeting, 7. July, than any other item in recent memory. The claws are out! An entertaining embarrassment! Finally - life in the Council Chamber!

Dimly Lit!
If someone were to raise the bottom-line question: what is the purpose of this particular kind of lighting, the silliness of the topic quickly could be established - that incidentally leaving councillors more time/energy to reflect on their here once again displayed habitual thoughtless disregard for the attending electorate in meetings. But - no reflection here!
Usually just talking to each other - often inaudible to the "audience" - or referring to topics which already had been addressed outside the Council Chamber - not necessarily in camera - thus often not cohesively explored in front of the interested/concerned. Being very inside - and very not!

While the effort of the recent Xmas-elves is to be commended - the result is predictable: predictable fake pine-garlands, predictable cardboard bows, predictable fake candy-canes, predictable electric twinkle: all adding-up to a
Festival of Lights!
Seriously!

Predictable holiday-cheer in a predictable smallish-thinking town.


Gotta Light?
Purpose? Xmas is when downtown/mall-merchants make more money than at any other time during the year - money then the name of the game: spending it and making it. This is the time when Xmas-addicts will indeed shop local and lots, without needing to be prompted with fake mall-cheer up-and-down trees.

As bizarre as can get: with a bit of the Spurway Fund in there but who knows - an ultimately again-and-again taxpayer-funded Xmas decor is really only to set the mood for the Nelson Business Association's (NBA) walk to the bank laughing, with the same taxpayers' irrationally spent money - what with the NBA only taking but never giving.

The Spurway Fund - a substantial privately donated amount, ostensibly to be used for Xmas-lighting-up Baker - sitting around somewhere at City Hall for ages, is not mentioned in depth anywhere. Not in Council, only superficially in The Nelson Daily/Nelson Star, not on Google, not on the City's website. Who knows? Colin McClure, CFO, knows, and he's on vacation. Close to the chest!

Back to irrational shopping - encouraged generously (any time!) with taxpayer-funding for the NBA's benefit only. More rationally - any Xmas decor should be initiated and paid-for only by the NBA, possibly supplemented by the mythical Spurway Fund. 
There could be a competition among its members for the most original winter-wonderland shop-windows and building-facade displays. This would lure shoppers and their children directly into particular stores - sort of like Hansel and Gretel - and stop Nelson Hydro's clumsy spiking, screwing and nailing into trees, with sad-dusty Xmas-lights still up in July.




Blinded by the light!
(Councillor Adams - arguing for more twinkle with Councillor Kiss against in the above-mentioned RCM teacup-tempest - is so fanatic about Xmas that after my critique of this topic to the Committee of the Whole (COW), 21. July - above and below here - he sends me an e-mail during! the COW - 7:50pm - masquerading as his wife - Lynn Adams - with: It is my opinion that more residents are inspired by the Festival of Lights than not. Signed: Lynn. Who is not present at the COW.

Spotlight!
Back at the RCM the plot thickens. Kevin Cormack, CAO - as a by-the-way tells Council of the need for considering general lighting - Xmas-lights possibly included - benches, banners and what-not in a Baker revamp and a consultant soon to be engaged for all this. Therefore the City holding-off on additional Xmas-lighting for now. Councillor Macdonald - the Cultural Development Committee's (COW) de facto hub - nods smiling agreement. This making the Adams/Kiss argument not only a waste of their energy and everybody's time but also pointless. With neither announcing nor moving on this idea Cormack's job - clearly all this was decided among "them" - whoever they are, seemingly not all of Council - prior and elsewhere.

The idea of doing something about Baker - for long stretches of the year a drab affair - is long overdue, but bringing in a consultant yet another sign of how little awareness there is at City Hall generally and the CDC specifically: still not having a naturally homegrown vision of Nelson and once again expecting an expensive, generic, outsider-generated study to provide it. This vision then promptly to be filed-away and forgotten - alongside others from before.
What with the Spurway Fund (also called Spurwood by Councillor Adams) not meant for a general overhaul but what do "we" know: here surely again comes the hapless taxpayer! 
Unless! 
Financing of the next-in-line consultant and this vaguely explained project-to-be is not divulged in this meeting - while surely on the(ir) table as a prerequisite - so one has to wonder whether the Spurway Fund's rules of application could be bent to allow for hiring pricey consultants ostensibly for a Xmas-lighting plan and - incidentally - buying Cormack's general lighting, benches, banners and what-not! I mean - who's to know? 
In a Nelson Star survey the public overwhelmingly speaks out against hiring a consultant (for something barely explained yet).
Remember the ego-fueled/driven truck City Hall bought for Onagawa with funds publicly collected for immediate disaster-relief wherever most needed in Japan - after these funds had been left sitting around by City Hall for way over a year? And despite repeated loud protests in COWs - but nothing from Council? 
Could this Baker Lite be deja voo all over again?   

Exit-Light!
Seeing that the tenor of both - Council and the CDC - is bound to be significantly different after the election in November: decisions of this range had better be left to the next generation at City Hall - with the current lame ducks focusing on fixing the present rather than the future. And Cormack implementing directives from instead of originating them for Council.




The above - with the odd change/addition for clarity and depth here - is the material I present to the COW, 21. July, based on lights-or-not and consultant-for-sure, RCM, 7. July.





Let there be light!
Two dominant points here: City Hall's/CDC's lack of a vision, despite their all-overriding artsy/cultchuh/heritage-pretensions plus the City's unquestioning readiness to buy a vision off-the-rack.
Some years ago a consultant tells us about art and economics. Then we have one for the cultural tourist. Then there's Roger Brooks telling us pretty much what Cormack/Council/CDC want to be told again now. And the Downtown Etc. Master Plan. More recently - almost again Brooks - to label Nelson. Sooooo - is this to be more Brooks-shtick?
So far always at the taxpayers' expense - never real because never ours: never to be applied!

We don't need still more consultants: googling what's similar to our perceived needs - then tweaking that as theirs for a hefty fee. In this case particularly: Baker is well enough lit, and additional Xmas-hoopla benefits only the NBA and those actually involved in designing/installing it.

I will provide a reasonable Baker-plan - free of charge! - here now just like that totally doable. Not that I'm an expert consultant - I walk and simply pay attention with intention. I also actually care about Nelson - unfettered by a political, economic, social agenda. 
Here goes! 

   


Extra Lite!
It all starts with Heritage - rather only the anal-WASP kind our previous heritage watchdog - the CHC - formalizes and the CDC - its successor - still lives with in a snug box. Those WASPs aren't into color beyond the faded burgundy of tassled plush in the colonial drawing-room. While bright colors are lived (but frowned upon by the repressed masters) among Eastern-Europeans and Asians within the community - but then: they don't count tut-tut what can you expect from them!
When various paint-manufacturers more recently come-up with heritage-colors - a contrived concept to up their profits and cultural diversity/multi-culturalism only going so far I mean really! - their palettes predictably come from mud-puddles.
With Nelson today rather faux heritage and proud of it - still in the same snug box. Little life and only dim light to be found in there. No vision possible without the boundless exuberance of multicolored joy! With the City's so-called cultural development an insult to all cultures having made a contribution to Nelson with their own heritage of values - like hard work!
So much for heritage.

But surprise, surprise - a spark! - when pictures now are taken of Baker to showcase local vibrancy and what-not - even in tourist lit - the inevitably photographed buildings are the ones with the Dominion Cafe and Kootenay Exchange next door. Because they are colorful - even though somewhat shabby! A very recent further step: covering even heritage-stone - gasp! - with total totally irreverent bright paint - the former King's Restaurant!

Color does liven/lighten(!)-up the environment - thus the people inhabiting it, passing through it. Color-therapy! Ultimately - in a commercial setting - prompting them to spend more money. The reality of these dots yet to be acknowledged, then connected by the NBA, CDC and City Hall - all of the same pursed-lips lot.
Whether stone- or wood-buildings: painting them in different colors and/or subtly varying shades of one color brings out architectural detail, easily overlooked in monochrome treatment. Have a slow look at the old King's from across the street!

And then there's painting with light!

You light-up my life!
Victoria BC - heritage mother of them all - saw that along with cities all over the world and now has the candy-colored Old-Town strip at Johnson Street's harbour end showing the early colonial city isn't all about Earl Grey and crumpets. As in Westworld.
All pictures in this post are of LoJO - Lower Johnson - in Victoria. 
Take it from there and find all the light(s) you need in post
Nelson in Living Colour
1. December, 2011
way below, along with over 20 posts in between dealing with aspects of Baker Street as-are/as-could-be. And their current/projected influence on Nelson's growth.





I can see the difficulty City Hall is facing with the Spurway Fund - all this money and nowhere to put it - but what to do with it must come before Council as a whole: clearly, comprehensively explored/explained in an open meeting. According to established rules - instead of (seemingly) being the agenda of one or a few.
The probable rationale - should anyone ask - that it's all part of the Downtown Etc. Master Plan, so Council is not needed for this (remember Cormack's Baker-amenities blitz?) wouldn't wash here: there should be no need for a consultant at this stage now - what with definitive plans for upper Hall established ages ago. So why not for Baker - the center of Nelson's universe - then as well! By the same consultants: the M&M&Ms from Kelowna.


The light fantastic!




 

Friday, 11 July 2014

Meanwhile - Who's Minding The Store? (Part 2)


This following the previous post
Meanwhile - Who's Minding The Store?
immediately below.

The Nelson Star, 11 July, 2014, has it that Russell Precious, Nelson Commons Condos - Project Manager, is attempting to have the Vancity Credit Union and the Nelson and District Credit Union agree to restructuring the prerequisite for their big money to kick-in to finance the project: lowering 46 of the total 54 units having to be sold first to - 32!



A giant leap - particularly considering that these 2 banks by-any-other-name - as any risk-averse bank would - must (should!) have ages ago begun to wonder at the public's low-voltage interest in these condos - thus the long-term financial viability of the project. If so - what "security" has made them hang in there so long? Even building with 46 sold would mean 8 empty - that with gossipy Nelson being gossipy Nelson and several other condo-projects in the offing.....





Starting to build with 32 units sold - thus 22 not! - seems like a fool's paradise and gross incompetence at these banks. Precious - supposedly having sold/sales pending of 28 units, thinks he can sell 4 more no sweat - according to the Star - and is ready to build with 22 vacant indefinitely.

But then - with the uninformed Co-op's member/owners thus far unwittingly having footed the project's bill: maybe their store - with its financial projections - is (has been for a while) used as collateral.



Otherwise - how would the banks be so stupid!