Sunday, 3 September 2017

Very Bad Cop - Very Free Donuts!

This post connects with
City paid part of convicted cop's legal fees
                                                  Nelson Star, Sep 2, 2017
More precisely: it was the tax-payer - not the City!

Criminal Cop
Local cop Drew Turner - while off-duty - beats a severely inebriated, about half-his-size, handcuffed woman unconscious, in front of two on-duty cops who do not participate in this. Finishing his assault with "That will shut her up!" he drives off, to repeat the same alpha-grunt later to a dispatcher. And then lies a lot.

The report/eye-witness account of the 2 on-duty cops raises questions, and Turner is put on well-paid desk-duty for the eventually lengthy duration of investigations and his subsequent trial.
Nobody talks in public about possible drugs - roidrage? - or even just a breathalizer-test. Considering his way-out-of-proportion, explosive meltdown, it would seem appropriate to also have his mental health evaluated - before letting him loose on even just desk-duty. After all, there is at least the well-being of his 2 fellow cops - testifying against him - to be considered.
But he does not start any "counseling" until about 7 months after the attack, and it has not been made known who initiated it, why only then and what the results are.

Accumulating costs of legal proceedings against Turner are volunteered by the City - actually tax-payered - but not made public either at the time, with the Nelson Police Board (NPB) stating it MAY seek reimbursement later. While it actually has paid absolutely nothing towards the consequences of its employee's meltdown.


Judge Richard Hewson - on the job less than 2 years - finds Turner guilty, and after righteously proclaiming "When a police officer breaches the public trust and engages in illegal activities, even if off-duty, it undermines the public confidence in the police and the rule of law", promptly sentences him to 1 month of (still well-paid!) house-(ar)rest and 2 years probation, citing most bizarrely biased mitigating circumstances for his (poor) judgement.

Eventually Turner resigns from the Nelson Police Department (NPD) - staying on its payroll until he actually does leave. The extent of his severance-pay package also is not known to the public.

But now this public is told that part of the legal costs of $38.115 - as per confidential(!) agreement between the NPB and convicted assailant Drew Turner - will be carried by Nelson(ites). But not how much and orchestrated through whom at City Hall.

"The board considered the amount Mr. Turner offered, they got legal advice, and said they were satisfied and the matter was closed."
                                                              Deb Kozak, NPB Chair
                                                              Above-mentioned Star article

So - convicted criminal Turner OFFERED(!) to pay only so much for his own legal defense; the Board - after running the figure by legals (who?) - thought his offer was just fine, and whatever the hush-hush rest may be is stuck to Nelson taxpayers. These including Turner's victim Tawny Campbell!
Matter closed! 


While not so hush-hush, in
Mason v. Turner
(shortly before Turner's flesh-fest)
Court finds for the plaintiff and - wouldn't you know it! - City Hall pays Turner's fine of $500! Surely plus costs.

So - to be factored-in-but-not by the NPB/NPD: this cop's most vicious attack by/on a single person in Nelson's not so recent history is preceded by another run-in with the law. A quick one-two!

Considering the NPD's proactive efforts to gain the public's trust now - after the reign of the previous Chief then - have just begun to bear comforting fruit: this decision by the NPB - why it was reached and how (not) communicated - is a giant step back into days of habitual dissatisfaction with police - the NPD.

Seeing that Turner was employed by the NPB, and the NPB is in charge of the NPD, it is totally unacceptable that the public should get stuck with "part" of these legal fees for off-leash Turner. While - except for that - ignored, with no concern shown for those to be served, protected, etc.

The NPB compensating Tawny Who? Campbell and having Turner's legal costs come out of the NPD budget are non-issues.

Nelson Police Board
Following is some basic - while frequently irrational - info on the NPB - Nelsonites may know little of. More can be found on the City's website-mainpage, under Nelson Police Department.

Responsibilities of the Nelson Police Board
The Nelson Police Board is responsible for appointing the Chief Constable and evaluating his or her performance. The Board provides direction to the Nelson Police Department through the Chief Constable. The Chief is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the department.

The Nelson Police Board is accountable to the community of Nelson, the BC Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General, and the members and employees of the Nelson Police Department through senior management.

Municipal Police Boards are created independently from municipal councils and from provincial government. This removes boards from partisan council (sic) and politics, as well as recognizes that both the municipality and province have legitimate interests in municipal policing.

Legitimate interests in municipal policing? 
Where did this twaddle originate?

The Nelson Police Board is comprised of (sic) the mayor, who is designated chair (?), one person appointed by municipal council (?) and up to five persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council (?).

How City Council chooses its local "director" and the Lieutenant Governor in Victoria her Nelsonites for the province is not public knowledge. Clearly - province-appointed local "directors" are chosen based on local "recommendations" only. 
Secret Smallishtown handshakes?

None of our "directors" have a background in public safety, policing, criminal justice. 

Little of all of the above makes sense: Most NPB "directors" are appointed by the "province", and the NPB is overseen by the "provincial" Ministry of Public Security and the "provincial" Solicitor General. So how "independent" are they, and - by the way! - who creates these Boards "independently"?
Also - the NPB Chair is a "municipal" employee as Mayor: possibly "partisan" and undoubtedly "political".

Then - how much circumspect oversight there is from Public Safety and the Solicitor General is debatable, considering that every municipality's Board in BC may be set-up following the same muddled model. And recently reinvented Victoria is busy. So our Board certainly can - and does - act like a singular entity in there somewhere.
We'll never know!

Like - being "accountable to the community" does not mean the NPB is - has ever been - accountable to the community: this Turner disaster being the latest example.

NPB Decision-Makers

 Deb Kozak, Chair - since elected Mayor 


Barb Henry, Director - 6 years

Bill Reid, Director - 5 years

Hilda Taylor, Director - 5 years

Elizabeth Edwards, Director - 2 years

Amed Naqvi, Director - 1 year

Having the mayor of a municipality automatically be its Police Board's Chair is a most growth-inhibiting - seemingly colonial - institution in municipal BC politics. Leaving her/him no room to decisively move forward as either in relation to the other.
A number of years ago a meeting of BC police chiefs overwhelmingly voted against the practice - but so far there has been no political will for change.

Next NPB meeting:
Nelson Police Department/Boardroom
19 Sep, 2017 - 15:00
Open to the public

Tel. 250.354.3919


You don't like what's going on? Go tell them: you'll get 10 minutes!

Image Credit:
City of Nelson

Deb Kozak, Mayor/NPB Chair

Paul Burkart, NPD - Chief Constable

Nelson Police Board

City Council   

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Sir John A(ryan) Macdonald

Pareja says he acknowledges Macdonald's foundational role in the country's Confederation, but having public schools bearing his name leaves out his role in the starvation of Indigenous people along the railway to facilitate its construction, along with Macdonald's - "central role as architect, really, of what was genocide of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island."

"At no point, when it came to learning about the Confederation of Canada, the Fathers of Confederation, was any of that part of our history," he said, recalling his own time in the elementary school system.

This being the heart of the matter, while

Former foreign affairs minister John Baird called it "political correctness on steroids."
"It's one of the most crazy and ridiculous things I've ever heard - just simply trying to erase Canadian history in the guise of an extreme and radical political correctness."

He's considered Canada's founding father, but many Ontario teachers want his name stripped from public schools.
                                           CBC, Aug 23, 2017

Aside from reaching production goals through them by any means - literally, not mentioned are the Chinese either, without whom - despite the horrific conditions they worked in and abusive treatment they were habitually subjected to, frequently resulting in (officially uncounted) at-work deaths (which until 1897 did not have to be reported) - the BC segment of the transcontinental railway most definitely would not have been completed by when it had to be completed: Macdonald's stipulation for BC becoming part of the Confederation.

While he clearly was aware of the absolutely necessary Chinese part in the process: he was not inclined to allow them to stay on in Canada - after he had got his little steam engine that could.

It is not advantageous to the country that the Chinese should come and settle in Canada, producing a mongrel race and interfering very much with white labour in Canada.
I do not think it would be to the advantage of Canada or any other country occupied by Aryans, for members of the Mongolian race to become permanent inhabitants of the country.
                                    Sir John A. Macdonald

Forsooth - (pre-Hitler) Aryans? Scarily same message - and here we are!

Whether-or-not (any longer) having public schools in Ontario named after Macdonald has nothing to do with "trying to erase Canadian history" - but everything with a possible step towards the country's maturity. And we for sure could do ourselves with some of that, Mr. Baird-With-Recently-Acquired-Vocabulary!
... a pair of surveys reveal some of us have the national awareness of a fruit fly.
A basic contextual knowledge of Canadian history and geography is essential for us to understand the nature of this country, its differences from its neighbour, its ties and connections to the citizens' ancestral homelands, and even the fundamental choices we collectively make and collectively face.
Lack of national awareness - and ignorance of Canada's history, dimensions, texture, origins and peoples - is a disgrace, it's also a handicap as we build for the future.
                               Our ignorance is no excuse
                               Editorial, Hamilton Spectator
                                                    July 2, 2009

Could have been written now!

A people whose main selling-point today is that they're "nice" - either are a very limited people, or they're just not up to facing their reflection in the mirror. 


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Of Course You Can Be White, Too!

What keeps getting so many upset about Charlottesville?

Was it the cosplay creeps with their predictable mantra; was it the predictable death of one white person; was it American-democracy elected Donald Trump being his predictable self? 

Was it politicians predictably getting on the predictable media-train as an opportunity to self-promote - while not actually having to do something constructive?

Nothing new in any of it!

Racism is the foundation of Canada and the US: the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) ethos of superiority in all and everything has shaped them both from the beginning - with God on their side - to become part of their (supremely) white social fabric.

So - it's hard to believe that all sudden demonstrators in Vancouver - before hitting the streets - actually went through a catharsis overnight and came out cleansed of their habitual complicity-at-least-by-silence: regarding from-the-top-down punishing disregard for Canada's indigenous nations. And others of color. Ongoing since the Colonials' arrival.

If they didn't - they've hardly had time since Charlottesville - they are and remain white supremacists (with better haircuts): if only by background, environment, association, voting - and dithering.

Does not having had large-scale demonstrations all along specifically in support of aboriginals mean: they have not been victims of racism?

"Supremacism is the worldview that a particular age, race, species, ethnicity, religion, ideology, nation, or culture is superior to other variations of that trait, and it advocates that those who identify with it dominate, control and subjugate those who do not."

The Germans attempted to export their particular brand of white supremacy all over the world; the British actually did; and the Americans are still at it with what Obama openly bragged about as American exceptionalism - another word for white supremacism.

The man in Charlottesville - driving his car into a crowd and killing one - a small number by today's terrorism "standards" - was not using a specifically southern-white-supremacist game-plan: he copied that from run-of-the-mill terrorists, who originally objected enough-is-enough to white supremacism in the Middle East.

So - wouldn't it be more clear-headed to call those pathetic southern whack-jobs what the are - racist nationalists - instead of empowering them uniquely with a label way too large for them to carry.

In Vancouver - taking selfies in the crowd and sending them to Friends as proof of having been there - having done the righteous thing - may provide a momentary rush - but then what? When these things are over - they're usually over, and everybody heads for Starbuck's.

Wouldn't those professing concerns in front of city hall have been more on point by taking these concerns to the Eastside?

There doing something small and quiet and personal about neighborhood racism.

If you can't love the present locals - you can't love the arriving Syrians.


We're all guilty!


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

I Am White - You're Not!

While the extreme white-supremacist state of mind and how it expresses itself is abhorrent - at least it is clearly visible, thus could at least be contained, if there were a (politically advantageous) will to do so.

And if the general public - there and here - took steps beyond conveniently short twitterings and righteous Likes to show their support for (politically expedient) media-posturing.

After all, down there - habitual neighborhood racism - usually not as visually/audibly dramatic as the in-your-face of white supremacists - still is a form of slavery, over time spread from the few to the many. Including those against slavery - like: everybody is involved!

Up here - systemic/systematic state-sponsored racism has been in force against the real Canadians - and not only! - since day one.
In the process surely having spawned our very own - and while Canadians are ever so nice - thus-far-media-ignored white supremacists.

Sudden - within days after Charlottesville - mass-removals of statues and plaques - down there/up here - are a quickie guilt-born attempt at out-of-sight/out-of-mind. 
Sudden ideological removal is another matter entirely.
Donald Trump is not the issue - but just one pimple that burst!

Jonathan Lemire/AP 

Monday, 31 July 2017

What DOES Matter! (Part 2)

"What was your motivation for running for the office of mayor?"

"I'd been on council for 6 years, and it seemed like the logical next step. The last few years had been kind of frustrating for me, because I'd seen Rossland council make some decisions that I didn't necessarily think were in the best interest of the community, and I wanted an opportunity to make some changes."

                                                             Moore for Rossland
                                                                      Kristen Mitchell
                                                                      KOOTENAY BUSINESS, 2014

Following is a rerun of
Kathy Moore, City Councillor
1 May, 2014,
continuing from
What DOES Matter! (Part 1)
23 July, 2017,
the post directly below this.

When Councillor Moore over time perceives irregularities in the City of Rossland procurement-, contracting-, governance-processes, she - pretty much single-handed - brings her concerns to City Council - nothing! -  then the Mayor - nothing! - then up/down/across City Hall - nothing! - and all along the local/regional political food-chain - always nothing!

Resistance from/in all directions must often feel insurmountable: she persists!

In ever widening circles - she ends-up with the Auditor General for Local Governments in Victoria, which investigates and decides to support her concerns, to then publish a report for all to see. With court cases and tough recommendations in the works: those in charge of this-and-that in fair Rossland are hyperventilating.

I deeply admire Councillor Moore for her sense of integrity: safely taking her through all-interrelated political/business/social Smallishtown potholes. Yet all this comes down to: Kathy Moore simply doing the job she was elected to do!

End of post


In Nov. 2014, Kathy Moore is elected mayor of Rossland, taking office together with an entirely new Council.

Image Credit:
Sean Heisler

Councillor Bob Adams

Councillor Robin Cherbo

Councillor Michael Dailly

Councillor  Janice Morrison

Councillor Anna Purcell

Councillor Valerie Warmington   

Sunday, 23 July 2017

What DOES Matter! (Part 1)

Building kindness as part of our

Columnist Donna Macdonald on the rise in threats and intimidation against municipal politicians
Thu July 20, 2017

Above is the (somewhat heavy-handed) lead-in to a COLUMN in the Nelson Star - to be found in its on-line edition - - under Opinion > Columnists.
Below is a refreshingly out-there Comment - quoted exactly/completely - by a reader, in response to Macdonald's Column.

Reading the Column first will provide context and - of course - the Comment as well.

But - just to get you there:

Schwapp Joe
"There is also contempt of citizenry. This usually takes the form of simply not representing them, pandering to special interest groups at the expense of the greater good, pushing ahead agendas which the majority of citizens don't want in the first place, and selling the public by using the DAD principle (Decide, Advertise, and Defend). Furthermore, the system, itself, is not based on kindness. It is based on exclusivity and is essentially anti-democratic in that it disallows citizens a real vote on important matters or say on the direction their municipality or zone should go in.

How about putting some more infrastructure into kindness instead? You can only pour so much syrup over something but it won't make it 100% sweet. Meanwhile, potholes and water that tastes like bleach is what most people get. This is happening all over, in tourist towns, a kind of civic austerity. I'm not pointing a finger at Donna specifically, as I never really followed her career that closely, but there is another side to the story."


"As a constituent, I am in the position of paying taxes and having a municipality with the power to take my house away if I don't, yet, I have no final say in how taxes and grants (also from taxes) are spent. Voters are reduced to spectators by many politicians, a nuisance that complains too much. Of course, that is no reason/excuse to be insulting to someone in power on a personal level, but taking criticism is part of the deal. And, sometimes, if they are not paying attention or don't care, that criticism should be pointed and blunt (as my post is). Anything else is beating around the bush and counterproductive."

End of Comment


Macdonald writes "I've always believed that if people just sit down and talk and listen, common ground could be found and collaboration succeed."

Stuff and nonsense and is that so! Nelsonites are fed-up with (again!) not being acknowledged by those they keep electing to (at last!) acknowledge them. So they may start lashing out - sometimes inappropriately, the social-media way to go now: feeling taken advantage of - feeling betrayed.
The platform on which one current Councillor ran for election was "relationships".
We're still waiting!  

Councillor Cherbo did at least acknowledge in another recent Column that Council may not be reaching out enough to the public. While this could/should be a starting-point for (at last!) connecting with the great unwashed: nothing has changed.

If you're not at the table - you're on the menu.
                                                                  Jim Hightower
                                                                  Political Activist, Columnist

In her Column - among vague, anecdotal assertions of nice municipal politicos today everywhere being abused by nasty common folk - reinvented Macdonald lists only one actual example sort-of. 
Even her personal experiences as told are only poor-me.

She also writes "How we ended up here can be debated at length. I am more interested in how we get out of here." Disregarding the basics of problem-solving - hello Council: you clearly identify the what/how/why and (only then) take it from there!  

Within her overall whitewash inferring Nelsonites are bad-bad-bad and those at City Hall good-good-good. Her finger-wagging only further muddling the already tenuous connect between those inside and those outside Nelson's City Hall. 

This is not constructive, Miss Manners! 

Anano Martsvaladze


Deb Kozak, Mayor

Kevin Cormack, CAO    

Saturday, 8 July 2017


The EcoSociety has been local news lately. Once reported - once not!

1. ITEM:
2 Band-Shells - Money to Burn
There's the recently Council-approved non-functional, unattractive second coming of a Cottonwood Market band-shell by the same architect - Lukas Armstrong, Cover Architecture - whose earlier design for a total Market redo - including a similar band-shell - initially approved by Council, eventually was rejected by someone else at City Hall.

Without the public informed, even though $42.600 out of a total of $82.600 spent on that also non-functional, unattractive Market design (or what?) were tax-dollars. The remaining $40.000 - almost one third of that year's CBT allotment - were volunteered by Council. Meaning - many really struggling, deserving weren't funded that year.
Phew, again!

These $82.600 are mentioned nowhere in the current context; the public has never been given a rundown on how/towards what they were applied if.


After I had raised the question of these $82.600 already gone in the COW, 19 Jun, 2017: Councillor Dailly - in a major meltdown, unprovoked yet unrestrained by Acting Mayor Warmington - called this figure a lie. While I had the on-record info - he either was uninformed! of the topic or just childishly contrary. Which - again - raises questions about this Council's preparedness for the job they were elected to do. 
Not a good look for him (and them), particularly as word on the street has it he may be running for mayor, next time around: next year.

Band-Shell #2
Neither had the public been informed of a scaled-back version of the original plan continuing to be developed: with focus now another non-functional, unattractive band-shell. 
This second band-shell ostensibly to cost about $40.000 - but wording there is poor.

Are we looking at double-dipping here?

While approval of this band-shell was on the agenda of the Regular Council Meeting, 4 Jul, 2017, and should have been dealt with publicly: it quickly became clear that the decision to approve had been reached in camera, preceding the public Meeting.
Seemingly orchestrated by Staff - as most of Council's big stuff is these days. Because there was no discussion, development, discovery - coming together.
A tepid performance for public consumption: the public of no consequence in this gestation-process.

A few comment-nuggets, though:
Some Councillors thought using wood for building this band-shell is so us - so BC.
Councillor Morrison patronized: The design is "modern". You'll get used to "modern", just like my neighbors did with my house.
Armstrong - currently the City's golden boy, who can't do wrong even when he does - promised his band-shell would be used every day - with Councillors happily bobbling.
For weddings, too!

The whole thing may actually end-up costing at least $150.000 - never to forget the $82.600 already spent earlier. 
Also - for evening performances - there would be continuing costs of stage-lighting and lighting of the whole area for security; security personnel; parking and waste-management.
Paid for by whom?    
None of these issues specifically, plus administration/maintenance generally, were addressed by City Staff - in their Request for Decision from Council - and/or by Council in their approval-performance.

So there you (will) have it: a costly, unwelcoming band-shell to pretty much be used in Saturday-market performances only.

And weddings in the dirt.

2. ITEM:
While - oddly (or-not?) - the above item has not at all been reported in the Star/Nelson Daily: the EcoSociety's request for financial consideration from the City has.

Its Cottonwood/Baker/Winter Markets and Market Fests add greatly to our economy and interpersonal well-being: through local-, area- and tourist-participation.
Keeping these events healthy and going is a no-brainer.

The City needs to be urged to plug the band-shell money-drain and instead use funds saved thus to support all Markets as a whole - period! The performance-angle will be of no benefit to the EcoSociety - unless they're blackmailed into running it for the requested financial consideration.


Image credits:


Montana Burgess, Executive Director

Pam Mierau, Manager - Development Services

Deb Kozak, Mayor

Colin McClure, CFO