Wednesday, 1 July 2015

No news is bad news. Probably. (1. of 2)

The air is heavy: warmish fine but persistent drizzle and layer over layer of loosely woven rags of mountain mist. Occasionally a glimpse of bamboo plumes, gracefully bowing and turning in a trance-dance. And absolute silence.
Drizzle washes rows of tea-bushes leaf-by-leaf, followed by mist gently wiping-wiping.

Around Xia Min Yuan, behind Jiu Hua Shan - Mountain of Nine Glories - one of the four holy Buddhist mountains in China.
Clean air, clean water, clean soil and this mist create tea of most delicate aroma. Drinking the mountain. Prized and pricey - supply is limited.
Not coming from the China of Western ignorance.

We have an old computer, and - while I can't email - I may sometimes coax Yahoo and the Nelson Star out of it. My sometimes fix. Regrettably not The Nelson Daily.
Everything Nelson appears smaller, less than - through the looking-glass.

Nelson Star 

I became a journalist because I didn't want to rely on newspapers for information.
                                     Christopher Hitchens

Since I left at the beginning of May - the only real stir seems to have been the Co-op's tempest in a teabag. (You ever wonder what's in one of those?) And the Star pulling back from reporting this tempest's three parallel realities in-depth and their development over time.
Yesterday the Star - today a Black hole.

For all the agonizing over this issue by the Board and the Star - whether it will upset Co-op membership or be swiftly forgotten remains to be seen.

While the Board agonizes and the Star agonizes - together and separately - the sizeable membership is not invited to agonize with them: patronized as in they're nothing to agonize over.
In the weirdly contortionist EDITORIAL: A conundrum over the co-op, May 15.

Unless more on this conundrum was published in later paper-editions: the EDITORIAL and Will Johnson's Shake up at the Kootenay Co-op, also May 15 - introduce/conclude the Star's agonizing. End of!
Even though the issue - whatever it may be - surely is Nelson's most gossip-spawning in ages. With the Star's reluctance feeding it.

... agreeably scandalized without being upset.
                                                                 David Lodge
                                                                         Nice Work

On a level of actual concern: if facing such painful conundrum - one would have expected the Star - a community newspaper - to actually go community for its Co-op-owner-member-readers. But no! Co-op talking heads yes - owner-members no! 


The Co-op Board
The more heavily addicted decision-makers have become to condomania - the more owner-members have been taken for granted - ignored, really! Except as possible condo-buyers. Little of relevance has been explained over time. (At the end of the you-and-us-together come-on: it's all marketing, dressed-up sales-pitches.) Owner-members have not been consulted on any condoing-phase, except once - marginally - when more of their money was needed.

And even now President Steinman - in full authoritarian feather - is disinclined to connect with the great unwashed (owner-members).

Those of the remaining to be seen - tired of being played and enough already and if not now - when? - conceivably could band together and boycott the store on a Wed. or Fri. - that way boycott the Star as well!
Something really real to agonize over for Board and Star: together!

For too long has the Co-op been run by an aloof inbred clique of competing egos.

Intense focus on Nelson Commons has relegated the Co-op proper to stand-by status as P.R. tool.
This creating restlessness at the store, manifesting in - last August - the financial manager leaving after just one year in the job. (Financially managing both: store  and condo-construction?). To be followed by the grocery- and deli-managers' exit soon after.
And now the bizarre Lang shuffle: did she determine her own salary, and where is that coming from? Seeing this is a for her created salaried position - and someone has already filled her old one.

Clearly - for ages - in-house co-opping hasn't been what it's cracked-up to be to the outside. Infusion of more co-op-cultish blood into the Board may make Steinman feel safer within but possibly deepen alienation without. When he says: the Board is stronger than he's ever seen it - this is a very familiar ringtone.

No matter who and what and why:  none of the current - finally almost on the sidewalk! - go for each other's jugular will help clear the already bi-focal vision of this condo-fantasy.

And - while it doth protest too much - neither will the Star, chasing the Co-op's advertising dollar (not that this particular dollar has anywhere else to go!) - wagering: if we don't print it - it may all be swiftly forgotten. As in: yesterday's news is today's fish-wrap.


My last China days - in Beijing again, a place of great cosmopolitan buzz. By choice: no computering. No interest.

But now back in Nelson - Agony Aunt is catching-up over a nice cuppa!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Inclination: Nelson

good enough  
simply is not
good enough


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Nelson Commons Cash-Dash

The name Nelson Commons is pretentious twaddle. A condo-box with a supermarket, insufficient parking and nowhere for children living there to play safely in any direction hardly fits the image of an old-world Common (no s!).
Park this!

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.
Nelson Commons

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

This is Canada!

A true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.
                                                         Andre Gide


Thursday, 2 April 2015

More Senate Porn

(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.

Canadian Press

Monday, 16 March 2015

Protect and Serve the NPD

It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
                                                                                     Mark Twain

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.