Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Cottonwood Bombshell - A Dud!



When the original Cottonwood Market folly was cancelled last year - after having cost the taxpayer and CBT at least $82.600 - the public wasn't officially informed of any of what - we know now - has continued to go on bandshellwise - not cancelled at all! - in City Hall's hushed corridors.

To this date, no specific purpose for its costly artificial life-support has been made clear by the City. The Request for Decision, 6 Jun, 2017, has not addressed this either, even though at last there it should be. Topping that - Council has been prompted to approve this unasked-for-by-the-public remake incomplete.




In the Committee of the Whole, 19 Jun, 2017, Councillor Dailly questioned the above/below amounts I presented - essentially calling them a lie. Making him an example of individual disengagement in Council's process: this not speaking well for the whole.
The figures are real - easily accessible to those interested. 
Including Councillor Dailly if.

While it is unprofessional and presumptive of Cover Architecture to submit an incomplete proposal for approval - it is highly irregular of Colin Innes, Public Works, and Kevin Cormack, CAO, to accept and put it before Council as-is.
But then - Staff presenting incomplete and/or poorly substantiated or even unsubstantiated projects to Council for approval has become the norm: the original Cottonwood Market; Hall St 1, 2 and the Panhandling Bylaw come to mind.

Council approving an incomplete design such as this bandshell and Hall St 2 leaves loopholes for unapproved changes and additions in design - thus funding - at will.


   

Nowhere in this Request are costs of the new bandshell-design itself addressed. To be considered: designs for the ankle-twisting concrete vendors'-space, a similar bandshell (made of the same now praised-to-high-heaven material), toilet-facilities, etc. are already-paid-for-parts of the original Cottonwood Market plan.

When comparing the 2 renderings below - the viewer will find that Cover Architecture didn't bother with a completely different presentation for design #2. Foreground, people, ground-cover and produce-displays are those from #1. They basically just pulled the first bandshell and inserted the second. While this probably saves time, energy and money - it is also unimaginative and dismissive of those this ostensibly is meant for.

But it's not really meant for us: the architects have made clear that they are using this remake as a lab-test for their super-material, ultimately aiming for award-worthy. 
For themselves - on our dollar.

What's the point in replacing #1 with #2? Both to be made of the same stuff - both insubstantial and non-functional.

City Staff's role in all this is unclear - they're not telling.



























Back to biggish money. Last fall - after the cancellation of the original unworkable market extravaganza - I found: soon after that at least 2 cheques were cut at City Hall for Cover Architecture, totaling about $5.000. Inquiring for what these payments were made, I was informed: for the Cottonwood Market.
The gift that keeps on giving to Cover Architecture.




About the Need for a Bandshell:
1
If it is to be used only for informal performances during market-hours on Saturdays - we don't need it, particularly visually as off-putting as this. Its crippled, unbalanced form would add no acoustic value to sound; it would offer little shelter to performers.
2
If it is to be used for more formal evening-performances - here we go again! - there needs to be lighting and sound-amplification.
How much exactly - at what cost?
2a
There also needs to be adequate lighting to address safety-concerns for the whole area: from wherever people will park and stand listening to toilet-facilities.
How much exactly, hooked-up where and to what - at what cost?
2b
There will be major environmental concerns - like garbage containment/pick-up and people trampling all over unlit parts - such as the Japanese garden - in search of a place where to indulge their habits.
Who exactly will run parking, toilets, trash, general environmental degradation and security - at what cost?
2c
Who exactly will be responsible for operating the whole?




Cover Architecture's approach to the costs of actually building their self-serving design #2 follows the fundraising-pattern established by David Reid's ego and Kevin Cormack with the earlier Cottonwood Market: vague promises and vaguer possibilities and - nothing!

What is missing here - often at City Hall - is linear thinking: No feasibility-study towards a commonly established need plus clearly to spiral costs should make this project a no-go.

Councillor Cherbo - in his recent Star column - is looking at the possibility that Council could put more effort into connecting with the public. In my memory: 
a first and to be commended.
This should apply to top-management as well - even more so: their jobs are fulltime, for which they get paid very well.
With our dollar.



   


The notion "You can't beat City Hall!" needs to go!





Cover Aechitecture Collaborative
Nichole Fernandez  

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Never Trust a Fat Monk



Jiu Hua Shan is one of China's 5 holy mountains. The Chinese inscription on our Commemorative Chinatown Rock at Vernon/Hall is from a poem by one of China's most beloved classical poets - Li Bai - who named Jiu Hua Shan: Mountain of Nine Flowers.
One of many temples there - this one superficially unremarkable - is where I had been meditating for years: outside its gate; on a roughly put together granite bench; a boisterous mountain stream precipitously behind-below me but never mind; the trunk of a tree for grounding touch in front; constantly bowing bamboo plumes gravely acknowledging each other and me; birds just waking up. No people - the temple gate still closed.
Good for Qi Gong.

After settling - the stream's chorus would rush through me, fill me, drown me.

Sometimes - after meditating - I found a cup of tea next to me or some fruit. With no-one to be seen - no direct social contact necessary.

Then - standing in the stream - I would rinse my hands, arms, face.

And walk through dense bamboo back to my village - Xia Min Yuan - about 3km away. Attentive step after step: many large toads in dry-bamboo-leaf camouflage are none too visible and none too swift.




Fundamentally not much has changed over the course of my coming here for 22 years: but quite some time ago all houses got solar hot water on the roof; all families got an electricity-powered scooter. All street-lights along lanes got small individual power-plants on top - a sun-hat: collecting, storing, converting and applying after sunset.

No surprise and simple: this community has strong and trusted leadership and truly co-operative let's-do-this-thing spirit.
The villagers' open smiles feed me: You're back! You look well!

On my first morning this year - looking forward to meditating on my bench, at my tree, at my stream, outside my temple - I find a drastic change to all in physical reality and vibes.
My tree was cut down for no reason apparent to me, and a huge representation of obscenely obese Xiao Fo - the Laughing Buddha, which actually he isn't but in charge of abundance and contentment to many - while to me more a gurgly-gluttonous Jabba the Hutt - has been placed next to the gate.
I feel off-balance.
A nun appears and offers me a small bowl of xifan - rice gruel. She also is overweight and surely not on xifan.

I have always been suspicious of overweight monks' and nun's integrity. Too inclined to worldly indulgence - too disinclined to physical exertion.

Asking her why this healthy, in nobody's way tree was killed, she has no explanation, ordered to come here after that fact. She apologizes and withdraws.




It's time to temple-shop. I can't continue here and will not give up my mornings. So I arbitrarily stop in a tiny-dusty worship room. Once I sit - I hear constant comings-and-goings too close to me in this small space: clearly to ogle lao wai - the foreigner. I am at least vaguely known in the area. But seeing me - or anyone non-monk, really - actually meditate in these places is unusual. Temple-hop and bow with piles of pricey incense to invite money mainly - yes. Meditate - no.
I finish  with dropping some coins into a large donation-box, always placed in front of statues. I do this not to further the cause (or effect) but - always in the eye here - simply want to be a good white ghost. Among the real people.
Cleverly - made out of wood - those boxes are boom-boxes as well. So - dropping coins into them is heard loudly and affirms the giving religio-tourists' devotion over that of others - guilt! - while alerting monks/nuns to funds coming in.
When I leave the following morning - a monk - mental arms akimbo (to basic lao wai: inscrutable) - stands outside giving me the look. Not a word!

O(nly) my God(s)!

Despite my coin-drop on this second morning as well - on the third the door is locked.

Of course I can meditate anywhere outside, but doing it inside now seems more appropriate.

Next I deliberately decide on the worship-hall of an old nunnery - going full opposite - large, high, deep, dark and cool. Imposing gold-glitz figures from the myriad of holy folk in Buddhism - all with their own special niche to light(en) the path - along the walls.






 
I finally gave up religio-spiritual table-hopping years ago in an Indian monastery and brought all that down to bottom-line integrity, as my base from which to function - period.
Integrity - with cultural adjustments - the great decider in any religion anyway underneath their pomp and circumstance - was a natural conclusion for me.
Of course, condensing it all into this low-body-fat mind-shape would not be acceptable to the religion-industry, with its high-drama control mechanisms: their source-apps being blind faith, guilt, karma and hope.
Similar control-methods to people's everyday-lives: the most popular apps are those devised for removing the user/used step-by-step from personal responsibility and decision-making based on - effort with integrity.

It's not a help-me! bend that draws me to these places - but they're conveniently there, and their initial energetic focus over time has made them acquire a soothing vibe of otherworldly captivating remoteness - even if now often artificially induced, maintained by those within and artificially supported by those without.




In the nunnery - directly behind the currently unused table/chair at the door for a religious-guidance nun - is another, heavier-looking chair against the wall, with two metal fire-buckets close on its other side. Not wanting to disrupt the quiet with crashing into these buckets: lifting the hemmed-in chair up and over to the corner where I want to sit needs to be done mindfully. Twice: in and out. Pressure!

I come back next morning. Same chair - same routine. Except - when I take it to exactly the same place as the day before, I notice a 10 fen coin (like a dime here but far less value) on the floor, next to the chair and not there the previous morning.
When I am finished I drop 2 of my coins and this one into the donation-box at hand.
I feel righteous.
Then I return the chair - again without mishap - and leave.
Next morning the coin is back. Same place. 
I don't touch it again.

The following morning the fire-buckets are gone - the coin still there.


Xiqi - Inhale
Huqi - Exhale




 


Shortly before he dies, Leonard Cohen talks about the pleasure he now finds in doing small, seemingly inconsequential things attentively.





Lao Xun Ke  

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Downtown Hangout



The Downtown Urban Design Strategy follows the same steps as the Downtown Master Plan - mother of them all - and the Railtown Plan. 
Not so much Stores-to-Shores Phase 1 - there never was a coherent plan for this. It just sort-of evolved-or-not as "they" went along.

Anyway - with the other three an expensive consultant put together a catalogue of what we have and possibly could have - the could-have with a modicum of general-public-feel-good input, ultimately of little deciding impact.
These plans as such are of no immediate practical value.



Pictures
The Downtown Strategy goes on for 146 pages and takes close to an hour to download. Most of no real interest to the average Nelsonite, who just wants to see lots of clear, exciting images of what is to be. The very few sketches (all here) provided are little more than our given reality with a bit of zip. There's nothing substantially new to agree/disagree with.

www.nelsonurbandesign.com


City of Nelson

Words
The words are more interesting, with their emphasis on Baker/Ward turning into Nelson's navel. Large areas providing seating for hordes of weary shoppers - and Nelson's untouchables.
The latter already giving Mayor Kozak public hiccups within this context - while (grin-and-bear-it) she also calls the plan "a key piece in the city's overall vision to make Nelson a vibrant and livable community". Not quite livable yet - but soon, maybe without the untouchables.

Much expanded seating-arrangements would be but hardly will be a significant about-face from Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kevin Cormack's attitude towards the untouchables, made very clear when he - without Council - not that long ago on his own ordered amenities on Baker torn down, using funds from a treasure trove only he seems to have access to. This tear-down to remove seating for the untouchables and real people - together.

Then there was the CAO's Request for Decision to Council for an Aggressive Panhandling Bylaw, without any documented evidence whatsoever that such bylaw was needed, that Nelson actually had large numbers of aggressive panhandlers to deal with. Or even just many basic panhandlers - period.
With Council raising crucial questions within the lengthy process of adopting-or-not such bylaw - left unaddressed by Staff when putting its initial presentation together - the whole thing was shelved to be revisited come autumn.

The idea of more seating than ever - without a legal way of making it whites-only - seems a potential show-stopper, given the CAO does like getting his way! 

The size of Nelson dictates the (finite) number of local-and-area shoppers. Nothing will change that. Neither will superficially guzzying-up downtown bring more tourist-shoppers to Nelson.

So - while putting a framework in place for possible future reference: all in all nothing much will happen soon with this Strategy.


     

Still - to have Nelsonites believe that their opinions do shape their environment - there will be another Open House for them to look at and listen to sales-pitches for this already done deal: the Final Draft of the Downtown Urban Design Strategy, already presented in exhaustive detail online.
Open House:
Adventure Hotel on Vernon
20 April
16:00 - 19:00




Of actual here-now consequence to the public is the needlessly complicated and dangerous to drivers Hall/Lakeside redevelopment (previously called Stores-to-Shores Phase 2) - supposedly coming before Council for final approval:
Committee of the Whole
Council Chamber - City Hall
24 April, 19:00


No Open House for today's driving public is planned for this prior to!





Mayor Kozak
dkozak@nelson.ca

Kevin Cormack, CAO
kcormack@nelson.ca

Megan Squires, Senior Planner
msquires@nelson.ca

Pam Mierau, Manager - Development Services
pmierau@nelson.ca

City Council
nelsoncouncil@nelson.ca  

Monday, 3 April 2017

Public Art on Hall - Really?
















When the "Stores-to-Shores" project was announced - "public art" was one 
of the bells and whistles promised on the way down to the lake.

But all we have is a redo of the mural on the PHARMASAVE wall - between Baker and Vernon. There since Oct. 2001 - redone in 2014.  
The original: water, rocks, trees, fishing from an indigenous boat and flat round faces in the shrubbery. Creatively awkward and rather colorless (no greens, blues), it was endearingly earnest - we were used to it. As a whole easily forgettable, forgotten.





The redo is a mish-mash of 3 styles. 2 are Brian McLachlan's own in the very left and very right sections, and 1 - the center: marginally more successful, not necessarily local-sourced - is large-scale digital reproductions of old photos.
Like lumberjacks whacking at old-growth trees, which the white man actually hardly saw here, what with the wildfire of the 1850s burning down everything in the area. 


 


The very left section still is a part of the original, in his #1 style. The very right section - in style #2, themed local-arts-and-culture - potentially is the most attention-getting. Partly because it is in several colors - the other sections' are rather monochromatic and old-photo sepia - and definitely because the people represented here all appear so uniformly grotesque.

Grotesque - because the painter - obviously oblivious - has absolutely no talent for painting people. This may sound harsh, but - no, I'm not sorry! - there they embarrassingly are! On a very large public(ly funded?) wall.




The Cultural Development Committee (CDC) could have taken the opportunity in 2014 - when the mural was damaged - to call the whole thing off and look at a new one altogether, more in tune creatively with out-of-town today. Instead of letting McLachlan - a minor local talent - loose one more time, unchecked (and financed?).
Let's face it - at that time he had had a good run of about 13 years with his oeuvre. So - was this an obligatory polite, feeling-sorry-for-him nod, or was the CDC simply obtuse.

For an historical mural - Trail's could have inspired. Yes - Trail's!





Ironically - Stephanie Fischer, CDC Chair, also runs the Capitol Theatre, the framework of McLachlan's arts-and-culture representation. But this section is poor advertising for her Capitol specifically - and not at all exemplary of how her CDC wants tourists to perceive us arts-and-culture jocks - period.
Yet there it is: she/they should have known (and decided) better!

Good enough is not good enough!

The mural - in its mostly dull shades and partly obscured by trees - has been there so long: nobody stops to look. I hadn't been aware of the redo until recently - and I'm a very visual person, usually seeing all around me.

Like - for instance - the 7 new, surely very expensive waste-bins in this single block of Hall: 4 at Hall/Baker and 3 at Hall/Vernon. Used by nobody and all too close to tiny natural settings they promptly overpower visually. 
Oh, Public Works!

Then there are the latest 2 Nelson Hydro boxes, across from the mural. All downtown cross-streets have them, most go on-and-on about the wonderfulness of Nelson Hydro, and most are wrapped in dirty-green camouflage-variations. There's no joy in them, and enough already: all we need to know and do know is that Nelson Hydro is running our show. Some at its top among the highest earners at corporate City Hall.



 
One of these boxes is about Mayor Maglio, seemingly part of the Hydro thing. I didn't read his story. But we know the Maglios have been doing extremely well for themselves around Nelson: most recently - be still, my heart! - as the road-construction contractor of Stores-to-Shores Phase 1 - namely Hall St.
Now with Maglio's Hydro box on it!
Is it just me, or ...!

Will Alex Love be next with his very own box? 

I digress!

  


Back to grotesque people. When a CDC meeting - some time ago - discussed murals for Nelson: it was agreed that painted outdoor-murals generally only have a limited life-expectancy. I was there.

So - with the Hall revamp needing a reason for being - beyond free parking, pipes in the ground and a place to put lots and lots of new, surely very expensive waste-bins: how about a taking-your-breath-away mural on the PHARMASAVE wall!

Consciously planned, designed - and executed within parameters contractually established prior to! By someone out-of-town with an exceptional proven track-record.

That and all Nelson Hydro boxes wrapped colorfully and telling different stories of common interest: taken-on as public-art projects.
Unless Nelson Hydro just won't have any of that!



Luis Seven Martins - l7m



"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, 
and that is not being talked about."
                                                                  Oscar Wilde







Stephanie Fischer, CDC Chair
sfischer@netidea.com

Valerie Warmington, City Councillor/CDC Member
vwarmington@nelson.ca

Anna Purcell, City Councillor/Alternate CDC Member
apurcell@nelson.ca

Pam Mierau, Manager - Development Services
pmierau@nelson.ca

Colin Innes, Director - Public Works
cinnes@nelson.ca

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Fiscal Responsibility



Following is material originally presented to the Committee of the Whole (COW), 20/03/17. With more detail, partly based on reactions from Colin McClure, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Robin Cherbo, Acting Mayor/Chair.

Absent are Mayor Kozak, Councillor Dailly, Councillor Purcell and Kevin Cormack, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

COW LIGHT!



Presentation:
"According to Council's approval and the CFO's announcement respectively: funding necessary for road-repairs is to be generated through cost-increases in seniors' bus-passes and meter-parking.

Once funding is in place - done this way surely a very long process - its appropriate use must be ensured: what with Public Works - at wasteful expense - superficially refilling old-familiar potholes for ages. Or not - thus dangerous for drivers and pedestrians! Not to forget - literally and please! - tectonic cracks in sidewalks.


These rate-increases are a simplistic solution, while - with linear foresight - such funds could reasonably be collected from about 40 parking-meters on Hall, between Herridge and Vernon.

It seems bizarre that drivers now may find free downtown-parking on Hall, while - if not so lucky - they not only pay for it just around the corner on Baker or Vernon, but on top of that with a rate-increase.

Substantial revenue from Hall meters - collected during almost a whole year, since completion of that part of Stores-to-Shores Phase 1 - could have been steadily fed into funds sought now.


Colin Innes of Public Works recently talks about replacing old meters with high-tech ones in a year or two - but then only the odd one when falling apart. So - it's actually not all new ones soon. We are vaguely looking at years!
And a good thing too, because - also according to Mr. Innes: we may be too squeamish about an across-the-board change. Therefore, installing these new meters in dribbles will be easier on our fragile collective psyche.

Actually - these newfangled ones  - for some time already used effectively and comfortably in other communities - could have been installed a year ago on Hall: their testing-ground, if you will. Seamlessly logical and fiscally responsible.




My direct question to Council here/now: Why are there no parking-meters - old or new - on these 2 blocks of Hall?"

End of COW presentation



I ask Council specifically "here/now", because I want to know how far they are involved. And if they aren't - who is, what with Stores-to-Shores Phase 1 as a whole turning out to be such a clunker.
Robin Cherbo - as Acting Mayor/Chair - promptly turns to the CFO for the answer, an explanation. An answer in itself - so there goes Council's involvement!




 
About Parking-Meters:
Mr. McClure clearly is unprepared for this particular question, even though he - as the City's CFO - introduced the higher parking-meter rates for Nelson, thus might have considered strong-revenue-generating meters for this virgin-stretch of Hall.
His impromptu reasons are unconnected and non-linear. They come down to this-and-that still in a planning-stage for the Hall Street Plaza, while in my expressed opinion: all planning should have been figured-in, funded and actualized within the overall completion of Stores-to-Shores Phase 1, a year ago. Done - as of! And not still dithered over a year and possibly much more later!
In reality - this was not just a phase but seemingly can go on indefinitely: money for years!


While he says in all seriousness and his own words: parking-meters wouldn't look nice in the wonderfulness of the Hall Street Plaza - I have never known this so-called plaza to be anything but a parking-lot for 20 cars. 

He has nothing to say about metered parking for another 20 cars between Baker and Vernon. Neither is he prepared for how meter-maids can enforce the 2-hour non-metered parking-limit along the 2 blocks between Herridge and Vernon. This essentially meaning: business-people in the area can park there all day without paying anything!


About Road-Work:
Just one example of institutional potholes is the series - for at least 8 years - covering much of the north-side crosswalk of Ward/Victoria. Bad in dry weather - absolutely treacherous in rain, snow, ice, slush. Think people who walk: particularly those with mobility-issues. Wheelchairs, strollers.

Just one example of over years periodically refilled potholes is the one on Edgewood, between High and Vernon. Particularly dangerous because cars and bikes love zooming along there.

The US Federal Highway Administration Manual "cites the throw-and-roll method (used to refill and refill this particular pothole and many more in Nelson) as the most basic method but notes that the failure rate of expedient repairs (such as this type) is high, and that they can cost much more than properly done repairs."

While Acting Mayor/Chair Cherbo cites the top-part of Stanley as an example of good road-work being done now. Why there is a head-scratcher, with minimal vehicular traffic - even counting fire-engines -  in the area. Keeping streets most traveled - leading to/from downtown - in good repair would be more to the point.

While at least some road-work - no matter of what quality - has been done over time: sidewalks have been ignored.


No amount of additional funding for road-repairs will be of public benefit, unless a comprehensive, outward-from-the-
core vision is locked-in - and well-supervised while implemented.

Bringing the Cop Shop into this would help greatly: they know about the dangers of potholes - and where to find them for Public Works.


After I - several times - bring-up poor planning and the lack of fiscal responsibility - in connection with road-repairs and the theoretical loss of substantial revenue from 40 parking-meters - without receiving an adequate response: Acting Mayor/Chair Cherbo tells me that I am repeating myself.

God knows - I try!
   


About Decisions:
City Hall floats vaguely connected in-house ideas in-house - but there is no vision of Nelson as an ever-evolving whole with all-interrelating components.
Committee of the Whole sounds good - but it's really a catchy name for a Council Meeting only.

Nobody is referring to Stores-to-Shores any more: it's just Hall Street. Kevin Cormack, CAO, made that quite clear the other day when he emphasized it was all about infrastructure. In other - not his - words: we are not to expect the leisurely green tourist-friendly/luring walk to the lake any longer, we were promised initially
Silly us have been waiting and waiting for. 




 

Throw-and-Roll;
Throw-and-Roll!






680news.com
Huffington Post Canada
lapotholes.com
cbc.ca
dcrazed.com
Claus



Colin McClure, CFO
cmcclure@nelson.ca

Colin Innes, Public Works
cinnnes@nelson.ca

City Council
nelsoncouncil@nelson.ca

Pam Mierau, Development Services Mgr.
pmierau@nelson.ca

Megan Squires, Sr. Planner
msquires@nelson.ca 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Facebook Intimacy





Cybering
The range of 8,760 documents leaked from within the CIA Center of Cyber Intelligence - recently made public by Wikileaks - rather substantiates that the American hoopla around much of what Russia may have done hackingwise to destabilize whatever in the US: is more of the habitual detraction by the proverbial people throwing rocks while living in a glass house. To keep in mind - no matter who is president: destabilizing foreign governments is the CIA's bread & butter.




Blessed (should) be the leakers and whistleblowers for telling that "cyber warfare" with "cyber weapons" has been run by many gamers, for some time and all over the only Internet there is: mostly by Americans though and not only on foreign soil. Operating within the US ostensibly a no-no for the CIA.

Ostensibly - as soon you may find that possibility uncomfortably close to home - literally - with even worshiping at your TV not safe any longer. It (THEY!) could be listening to you carrying on! Also - using your smartish phone is not necessarily all that smart any longer.
You may think: I'm sorry - none of this could happen here - we're nice Canadians. Again: there's only one Internet, period! So - of course it could!

"I know who you are, and I'm coming to get you!" soon, and there's nothing you can do about it.

UNLESS! 


Facebook
Unless you get with the program(ming) of Mark Zuckerberg's also recent "Building Global Community": 5,700 words on his Facebook page, along the lines of

"To our community,
In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us."

Interestingly - this is addressed to "our community", and "we at Facebook" decide what "works for all of us". A new world-order according to Brother Mark. With lots of fuzzy-comfy "Friends, Likes, Shares".
Scientology deja voo all over again!

So far this sermon from the Sugar Mount (Zuckerberg in translation) has generated
5,842 Facebook "Comments"
11,662 Facebook "Shares"
87,838 Facebook "Likes" (as does Martha Stewart, so it is written).


Federico Solmi


Coming from his finally openly declared role as savior of all and everything - this may seem a tad '70s and longwinded. How many will actually make it their own objectively, what with Zuck (as "we at Facebook" call him affectionately) conceding earlier that Facebook has dumbed you down of late. Fake-news and all.
You dumb enough yet?
So - for now - here clicking on Like is the safe way to go for most. Maybe-followers. What with no Don't Like option presented - there's no need for personal decisions: sigh of relief!

Superficially - Brother Mark here presents himself as one of the angels - with Trumping, cybering and what-not on the other - the dark - side. 
But while he has kept everybody busy looking at each other's baby pictures: his bigger plan has actually been rolling out for some time.
Even in little-bitty Nelson.




Facebook/Nelson Star
With Facebook by now known for having become very proficient at helping sift through personal (largely emotion-based) dross, it has been contracted for profit to do this kind of work within specific contexts - like newspaper-readership manipulation.

For some time the flow of readers' Comments at the Nelson Star/Black Hole, the rest of the Black Press chain, as well as other-owned papers - has been independently run by Facebook. At the bottom of each Star web-page - under "Commenting FAQ" - the exhaustive "Facebook Comments: Frequently Asked Questions" lays out not necessarily reality-based terms for reader-engagement.
Facebook taking on an arguably basic editorial function. The implications are scary: for now and - even more so - the future




While in the past one could post/read comments directly to/on the Star's website - this is now possible only for Facebook subscribers. The same applies to emailing articles.

What should concern all readers - however - is that as soon as you click on a particular webpage-heading (HOME, NEWS, OPINION...) you are automatically identified as either Facebookers or heretics.
One - seemingly neutral - click!
As soon as!

Facebookers - clicking on the Comments number indicated above individual write-ups - will be taken to them directly.

Non-believers may! initially see the Comments number indicated, but clicking on that will automatically turn all numbers on all pages to 0
Yet if they sign on the dotted line - voila! - they not only can read and post comments: they also become members of "our community".
Actually - in reverse order!

While all this raises major questions about bias at Facebook and integrity at the Star and other papers, it demonstrates the exclusivity - by now entitlement! - of "our community"!

Yet this single click - theoretically so far, as far as we (don't) know - soon may also lead those in control directly totally into the murkiest depths of the "community's" most personal dross and its manifestations. Who knows? Zuck knows! Not that the adoring "community" cares.

Equally scary is/should be that a non-believer's single click - leading nowhere specifically revealing - could raise a red flag!
Hiding something?

Sooo - ultimately/actually - how different could "our community" be(come) from the dark side?

"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean it's not happening."


 
Like
The comfort-level of the flock's collective/collected banality - by design - is demonstrated in the use of "Like".

"Nelson passes cannabis bylaw"
                                      Star, Mar 7, 2017
indicates 17 "Comments" and 141 "Likes".

More specific interest is possibly expressed in these 17 "Comments".
141 believers clicking on "Like" means what: aside from mental sluggishness and a vague desire to belong to something more important than oneself. Like - what exactly is to "Like" here? Reporter, councillors, cannabis, bylaw, dispensaries, zoning, fee - lunch?









 
"Heartbeats have no sound on Facebook."
                                                     Growing Home
                                                                   Lee Reid





David Black, Chairman
dblack@blackpress.ca

Rick O'Connor, President
ricko@blackpress.ca

Eric Lawson, Publisher - Nelson Star
eric.lawson@blackpress.ca

Bill Metcalfe, Editor - Nelson Star
editor@nelsonstar.com