Wednesday, 15 April 2015
The name Nelson Commons is pretentious twaddle. A condo-box with a supermarket, insufficient parking and nowhere for children to play safely in any direction hardly fits the image of an old-world Common (no s!).
That said one must agree with Councillor Morrison on her resistance to the City expected to continue giving way more to Nelson Commons (NC) than it receives in return. And Councillor Dailly's support - as member of the Housing Committee yet!
For detailed info on NC - again! and now what! and they can't be serious! - go to:
Reg. Council Meeting - 7 Apr, 2015
Development Variance Permit Application - 708 Vernon St.
The first time the 3 now-called (un)affordable residential units were mentioned was:Van City Credit Union long ago stipulating that its financial participation in NC was partly contingent on making 3 units available as then-called social housing. They are not a manifestation of the Coop's social consciousness! Predictably - and over time - NC has turned these 3 must-or-else units into an emblem of its own tree-hugging wonderfulness - while in reality, now blatantly - attempting to use them as an additional money-maker.
From social housing to market-value real-estate - in addition expecting this to be subsidized by the local tax-payer. Plus having the City totally administer these units on tax-dollars as well! In perpetuity! Laughing all the way to the bank!
Be still, poor heart!
It's high time to differentiate between the Coop and NC - the latter a separate entity except for whatever their financial cross-pollination may be - few know - and the new Coop-store to be rented from NC.
This originated and run not by but for the Coop as a basic for-profit real-estate development by Russell Precious - its very well-paid and very development-savvy project-managing brain.
And when Councillor Dailly says - in his own words - that surely we can rely on the Coop's credit being solid because - after all - it is THE Coop: we need to take a deep breath and consider what role its existing store plays already as lynchpin in financing NC. I mean: what else is there as collateral for the complex financial multiparty backing?
The City must begin to - at long last - deal with NC as a single entity, strictly just another development-project - which unfortunately it had not done until the above Council Meeting. Particularly now that Nelson Landing is on the table as well!
Councillor Cherbo has a point when he wonders whatever happened to the varianced green bike-racks all over NC. Which now attempts to claw back parking-spaces one-here one-there - after receiving the previous Council's approval to scale back the then appropriate 190 spaces to an astonishingly low 100. This variance worked-out for NC by Dave Wahn - Nelson's previous Manager of Planning and Approval - long before even officially applied for by NC wink-wink. The (public) rationale behind this drastic cut comes from Precious - after the variance is approved: The full 190 spaces would have required a second underground parking-level at an additional 1 mill - making the whole project unfeasible.
Not very bloody likely - seeing that this whole NC-thing is the only plan they've ever had for paying-off significant debt, incurred by the Coop buying the Extra property and then what!
The variance - if/when implemented - meaning far-reaching impact on local driving- and parking-patterns. What with Wahn - to make up for the loss - deciding to simply make those spaces we do have smaller to gain more! Rationalizing this Alice-in Wonderland move with: people will just have to buy smaller cars! All this for NC!
Oddly-or-not - since this retooling of parking on City Hall paper - nobody has talked about implementing it. No matter and inescapable fact: there will not be enough parking at NC thus in its vicinity. The pebble in the pond!
Bottom-line: NC's posture of entitlement in this way unbalanced relationship - based off-point on the Coop's local sacred-cow status - was locked-in enthusiastically by City Hall's previous incarnation. There are more examples!
While one may empathize with this Council's unenviable position of being up against NC's shrewd money-grabs: many locals - including so-called Coop-owners/members - feel manipulated into - directly/indirectly - facilitating schemes for paying-off a property way too large and way too expensive for a basic larger store.
Ultimately - what could have been the Community Master Plan's heart of Nelson - will be an unremarkable Villa Kelowna with a new! improved! supermarket downstairs.
For years and years to come!
Pierre et Gilles
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Thursday, 2 April 2015
(Conservative Senator Nancy) Ruth said Wednesday that she's been asked why she didn't eat free airline food rather than file breakfast expense claims on a couple of occasions.
"Well, those (airline) breakfasts are pretty awful," she said. "If you want ice-cold Camembert with broken crackers - have it."
"Most of their questions are not very sophisticated, nor do they really have anything to do with Senate business... I mean, they're really weird."
"I didn't do anything particularly wrong."
Camemwho in Economy Class?
Just askin', Nance.
Monday, 16 March 2015
It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
Clearly - there are mental-health issues in Nelson - just like anywhere else - but the Nelson Police Department (NPD) turning this issue into a mental-health crisis to manipulate the public emotionally - via gullible local news-media - for funding-approval of largely in-house benefit - has been inappropriate at best.
It has made the NPD appear frenzied and out-of-control. Certainly not inspiring trust in its ability to handle a real crisis - should it ever arise.
This includes the Nelson Police Board - guided by then Mayor/Board Chair John Dooley - in giving shape to the NPD's bizarre Provisional Budget 2015, presented to Council in Oct. 2014.
Eventually the NPD had to run out of manufactured reasons for gaining a very substantial increase in its definitive 2015 Budget - not once supported with a clearly documented local need - and went silent on said crisis after Feb. 16 - one month ago. Mental-health crisis? What mental-health crisis!
This sudden silence raises more questions than previous consistently loud, disjointed and self-righteous fear-mongering by the NPD: presenting itself in emergency-mode, with no time left for policing after forever having to drive mentals to the hospital and back. This only fixable with lots of money: to get more cops. To join the complimentary taxi-service?
In the meantime - what with your ever so overworked and misunderstood neighborhood-cop turned overtly entitled and hostile: prominent among questions must be that of confidence in the NPD's cash 'n carry willingness/intention to work for the common good.
I - and many others - totally support Council and Mayor Kozak in following the NPD's mental-health trajectory since Oct. 2014: including obtaining data from the hospital on the number and frequency of people baby-sat there by cops since last October.
While this taxi/baby-sitting service of mentals to/at the hospital has become the institutionalized-for-one-purpose-only cornerstone of the NPD's attempt to squeeze the Nelson tax-payer for more money: we have yet to see the NPD's never volunteered real-time numbers substantiating these hospital-run claims as well. A comparison might be interesting!
Day-by-day - with dates!
Just as we have yet to see these hordes on Baker before/when the cops round 'em up. Provided some toing-and-froing is actually going on: what are the criteria? Who decides?
So far - since Oct. 2014 - NPD-generated info on the so-called mental-health crisis in all its permutations has been completely anecdotal.
Not once challenged anywhere but on this blog.
Reasons for the need of additional cops - given in the Provisional Budget - curiously do not include this crisis and huffing-and-puffing up the hill to the hospital because of it. Reasons then: a) mostly pulled straight from a book and b) written by an author with research-methods questioned by many policing-experts: are nowhere - literally - and insulting to those the cops ostensibly are here to protect and serve.
But there you have it - or them: our Police Department and our Police Board.
Low on crime and high on themselves.
Thursday, 12 March 2015
The move to officially lock-in the term organic - as reported by Bill Metcalfe, Nelson Star, 10 Mar, 2015 - is long-overdue sensible: but the situation is more complex than reported - multi-layered. And the closer we peel towards this organic onion's center - the more teary we may get with Victoria's health-is-wealth-what-not.
Official Layers: 1 and 2
There are several organic certifiers in BC - there also are several certifiers certifying would-be certifiers. And although these certifiers of certifiers have to follow certain rules within the process - there may be variations in approach. This could conceivably lead to certifiers of growers/producers certifying differently from each other.
Store Layers: 3, 4 and 5
The Kootenay Coop Country Store has several ways of identifying dry bulk. All along the same aisle.
Commercially grown/produced dry bulk is kept in orange bins - otherwise left unidentified.
Organic dry bulk is kept in green bins - labelled as that. Only. Usually.
Certified organic dry bulk - also in green bins - is labelled as such. The grower/producer/place of origin may be mentioned. May be. Mostly isn't.
None of the dry bulk labeled Certified Organic identifies which certifier certified this product.
The Onion's Center
The Coop carries dulse-flakes. For those unfamiliar with dulse: it's a sea-weed/vegetable growing attached to rocks mostly in the coastal Pacific, like up along our side. Close to the shore, to about 20 meters deep, much of it exposed at low-tide, then gathered.
Even the lesser informed probably know that - particularly closer to urban centers - the water is not the cleanest and sloshes about a lot. We also know that nuclear fall-out from Fukushima has reached the continental shelf of British Columbia (Health Canada). Pronounced negligible and absolutely no health-risk now of course they would while nuclear pollution will hit BC's beaches eventually. Eventually!
But - big BUT! - at the Coop dulse has been sold for ages labeled Certified Organic. No producer, no place of origin, no certifier. This begs the question: how could anyone possibly officially sanely certify the coastal Pacific - or any part of it or the whole thing - as organic! Fukushima or not. Organic as what we have come to envision/expect it to be! At the Coop $3.89 per gram. In a green bin. While in orange bins immediately to the right there is bull-kelp and arame. Both sea-veg as well.
I talked about this with the guy in charge of it all a long time ago - nothing. And when marketing-manager Jocelyn Carver now says Because organic food is priced higher there is obviously a strong profit motive for business to use the word "organic" misleadingly in order to charge more - I say yeah!
I don't question whether this dulse was actually certified as organic - I question the certification construct from the top down. And I do question why nobody at the Coop ever said I mean really we need to pull that label and kick some serious certified ass us being Nelson's sacred cow and all!
Organic money for everybody!
Even though this issue was brought to the attention of the Coop's Board one week ago: the dulse is still labeled Certified Organic - as is its price.
Sunday, 22 February 2015
Our library has a revamped website. The home-page jumping you: an overpowering, visually disjointed, way too large moving band of 5 never-changing items - much like and of the same purpose as the electronic board at the Front St. mall-entrance. Or to be found on Yahoo's or Youtube's home-page: except there you usually can Close Ad X - while here you can't.
And there you are: ready to join a book-club with books predigested just for you. Ready to make BiblioCommons(!) friends: indicate likes and dislikes, post critiques of the latest Nora Roberts. Trend away: yes, your opinion is important to us - we take you very seriously! Somewhere between Twitter and Facebook. A little Telus like it is.
Yet there are some less sexy - while actually important - basics left unattended to.
Shelving in Adult-Fiction - including lit, crime, mystery, spies - can be inconsistent when a decision wasn't made clearly which category an author's oeuvre fits: according to whoever responsible for the catalogue in the dark ages. So an author may be shelved in 2 separate sections. Did you know that! Spies - for instance - don't belong anywhere: even though they often are very literate, definitely mysterious, deal in fiction and approved crime. Decisions, decisions, decisions!
This elementary problem has been known to those in charge since before the furniture was rearranged some years ago. Then it was: let's get the remodeling over with first - we'll look at this after. Well - this is after. And with all the additional services offered - the time for revisiting basic cataloguing/shelving now is appropriate.
Although renewing/returning/fining is covered on the new website - time allotted to borrowers and why are not.
You borrow a book and have 2 weeks to finish reading it - no matter how thick it is, how much time you have to read it, regardless of you being a slow reader. Because if someone else put a reserve on this: you can't renew it and will be fined for every day you're over the red line! Finished or not! Because whoever next in line is more important than you are.
Let's say you obey! this rule - which goes totally against any per/conceivable purpose of reading - Hello, Library! - the next person may have similar reading-habits: this being War & Peace - and the scenario repeats. And possibly repeats. Or not - depending on whether you simply have to finish reading it - willing to pay accumulating fines. Which - incidentally - is one way of making money. WhateverCommons not so much.
Both issues are bottom-line in a library. Should be!
By the way - do not click on Email Us in the bottom-right corner of the home-page: your computer may crash!