Saturday, 30 April 2016

The EcoSociety and Big Lumber

Nelson council endorses Cottonwood Market Concept
                             Bill Metcalfe, Star 23 Mar, 2016

The budget for the market could exceed $600.000 (elsewhere 750.000) through possible participation of Kalesnikoff Lumber, the Interior Lumber Manufacturers Association and Spearhead Timberworks ($150.000 to $200.000), the Regional District of Central Kootenay and Columbia Basin Trust ($200.000 to $300.000), local businesses, in-kind and cash ($50.000 to $100.000) and other grants.

With Council not questioning the absurd nothingness of all this, just as it hadn't questioned the even less earlier declaration by City Staff to Council that an unnamed local business intends to contribute significantly to building the new structures - Star, 19 Nov, 2015. This unnamed community partner even and totally inappropriately featured prominently in the Official Request for Decision asking Council for an initial $12.600 to fund a market pre-plan plan.
Kevin Cormack, CAO, in the same meeting saying that the unnamed business deals in wood.

Council ending-up approving a combined 42.600 tax-dollars for the project. After asking way too few pertinent questions!

But this post is not a focus on money as such but lumber/wood leading to trees leading to logging leading to watersheds leading to - the West Kootenay EcoSociety.


The EcoSociety (and market-project) is run by David Reid - often critical of what's perceived as wanton wood-chucking - the tree-huggers' nightmare. Making him, them and the wood-chuckers strange bed-fellows, indeed! One would think!

Kalesnikoff Lumber (KL) is a major head-scratcher in this context: why would they want to get into this menage?
Weeell - even since before the first time the Cottonwood Market Replacement came before Council, the citizenry of Glade has been in strong opposition to KL's planned logging in their area: greatly concerned for the Glade watershed because of these projected activities.
For details google Kalesnikoff Glade.
Seeing that Glade is located in the West Kootenays and a possible loudly vocal critic to be found in the West Kootenay EcoSociety: putting a contribution their way may be a P.R. move to keep criticism at least muted. Not to forget: Kalesnikoff is not even located in Nelson - while in the West Kootenays - so what could their interest possibly be in a Nelson farmers' market?

This may also be asked of the other wood-chuckers - named/unnamed - as possible financial contributors!
Council? Please?

No matter what - one needs to wonder about a conflict-or-not of principles (the old Hillary thing!) between Reid's Jumbo agendas and even just considering to accept funding from a source currently with a huge environmental-image problem.

Public Perception!

The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment.
                                             Simon Jenkins

Alain Truong
Linda Hughes   

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

82.600 Dollars (So Far!)

This directly follows post
26 Mar, 2016

After handing $30.000 to David Reid a few weeks ago for something maybe possibly perhaps vaguely connected with a Cottonwood Market: City Council now adds another 40.000 bucks - partly for the same maybe possibly perhaps vaguely connected purpose and partly because of an impressive new name Reid pastes on the thing.

1. The Money
Among 36 applicants for funding from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) - the EcoSociety - meaning Reid - receives most by far: at 40.000 4 times as much as the applicant next at the public trough. Most of the rest get way less than even 10.000. Or nothing!

There is something distasteful about this. If he had applied for less (actually he wanted 42.000!), and/or Council for a moment came out of its Reid-swoon: there could have been more for the more deserving. We need to remember that instead of the Hollywood Bowl Reid wants now - all we originally were to get from him was a modest replacement for Cottonwood (Farmers') Market as such. 

Proportional to their request most applicants receive way less than Reid, who walks with close to 30% of the total funding available.

For a detailed break-down see
Nelson council decides 2016 community initiative grants
Nelson Star, Apr 20, 2016 

2. The Name

Cottonwood Park Public Performance & Market Building

Just the name seems to suggest what I have been advocating for a long time: an exceptionally designed building housing a multi-purpose indoor cultural center - THE HEART - including a part-time farmers' market. Open every day with various regular activities, special events and a cafe. Locked during off-hours, safe. 

But beyond the misleading name the Reid/Armstrong vision is none of that. What's in a name? This name .....

Cottonwood Park
What becomes clear in their proposal is that they have expanded their rather small playground by just-like-that appropriating the Shuzenji Garden - according to Mayor Kozak: a jewel in the city - and renaming all Cottonwood Park. Or just the park.  
Yet without Jim Sawada's Garden there is no Park - period. Does he know what may happen to his labor of love?
Clearly - a basic, easily done common-sense environmental-impact study necessary to protect the jewel from Reid's envisioned crowds of revelers is a non-issue to them. This is somewhat baffling - what with Reid being the local go-to eco-guy! Or used to be! Gone Hollywood now.

Public Performance
Worth noting is that in the name (and importance!) Public Performance precedes Market. Performing in public simply is sexier than schlepping veg for dinner.
But what is a public performance? As opposed to a private performance? Is it free to the general public? What with the location's idiosyncracies: ticketing performances will be pointless. But then - will these acts do whatever unpaid? If not - who's paying them? Maybe Council.
Explanations would be good - but there haven't been any

You may remember that all this started out as a replacement for the Cottonwood (Farmers') Market. Only!
But seriously - a market-replacement here is unnecessary: while we loved the Market of old - what's to love about the new market-afterthought!
The Wednesday one on Baker is just fine, and we could always have a repeat there on Saturday - maybe with a block added. Tourists would love it!

Renderings/schematics do not show a single Building - an enclosed structure: roof, doors, windows - but a series of separate shelters: open all around, through-and-through, from the top down and bottom up. Reid calls them light and airy - actually they will be wet and drafty. Without seating - and their possible (while not probable) use pretty much within the same time-frame as that of the Market of old - wetcoldrainsnow making anything a no-go.

So there you have it: one man's vanity project financed by Council - bless their hearts! - with 82.600 dollars (so far) and next to no parking.



Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Moore Challenge

Rossland wins federal voter challenge
                                     Nelson Star, 5 Apr, 2016

Before the last federal election some Nelsonites organize a Community Voter Challenge (not a federal voter challenge - as in the Star's header) in which participating communities would attempt to outdo each other in somehow increasing their voter turnout over that of 2011. Percentages.
Nelson ends-up 5th - oops! - in a total of 9, while Rossland wins. And Mayor Kathy Moore comes to Nelson to pick-up the award.

This is not where the story ends - but how it begins.

Late 2011
As City Councillor - Moore starts to dig into what has been perceived for several years as irregularities in municipal procedure: more specifically - she openly explores a recent case of questionable tender-or-not and connected cost-overruns at City Hall. 

Also see blog-post
Kathy Moore, City Councillor
1 May, 2014

What with Smallishtown politics being very personal, business being very personal and the personal being very cliquish: beyond the usual furtive ducking and weaving she gets little decisive support from anyone at City Hall for her Action Plan. Regardless - over time she mostly single-handed takes-on just about everybody in connection with: Mayor, CAO, CFO - the lot. It's the proverbial taking-on-city-hall - all of it! - but from the inside!
And gaining considerable in-your-face support from a public kept exhaustively well-informed by news-media - like the online version of The Castlegar News.


3 Jan, 2013
After a very public meeting with His Worship Mayor Granstrom - with very blunt questions backed into a corner of his own making - The Castlegar News quotes an attending citizen with "I want to publicly thank Coun. Moore for her steadfast integrity, and I heartily recommend her as role model for the rest of council," Holmes said. (Long applause)

25 Jan, 2013
Strong public support in a very vocal public-input session is instrumental in pushing Rossland Council to pass Moore's motion to request that BC's new Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG) investigate the big picture of policy, procedure and governance in Rossland that may have contributed to the ... arena scandal. As per The Castlegar News, 30 Jan, 2013

Eventually the AGLG in Victoria agrees with Moore's concerns and makes several recommendations.  

Nov, 2014
Kathy Moore is elected mayor of Rossland with 3 times the number of votes as her opponent. Granstrom - running for council! - is left in the slipstream.


So you see - Rossland being first in the Community Voter Challenge is no surprise. It now has a mayor whose work-ethic is stupendous - formerly as councillor simply doing what needed to be done: her job. Regardless. And a very pro-active electorate is paying attention.


Saturday, 26 March 2016


for the 3 principled Councillors voting against the stream - after Council for months goes with the flow by looking away or approving steps within a process light on documented substance and strong on fancy talk.

The substance of this matter - a farmers' market - no more/no less - over time has become an expanded concept that will turn the market into "a regional asset." According to David Reid - its self-appointed mastermind. From farmers' market to Reidworld - the home of a music festival.
For an immediate payment of $30.000 from City Hall - meaning the tax-payer - this on top of the previous $12.600 - the same bottomless source - even though Reid initially is going to handle all fund-raising. Outside!


for Mayor Kozak and those Councillors shrugging-off public input as meaningful mechanism for public participation. Unceremoniously cutting-short the time-frame for possible input with the mayor's the one (market proposal) approved by Council Monday is an overall proposal, the details of which could still be changed. Coulda - woulda! That in itself is a poor P.R. move - public perception and all - and clearly: Reid and Lukas Armstrong, Architect, have had the current proposal fixed among themselves for quite some time. A done deal - now to be fleshed-out with our 30.000.

What Mayor/Council Approve
is no longer so much about buying apples at a basic farmers' market as a circus promising to dazzle with slick tricks.

Reality Check: Have Mayor Kozak and approving Councillors been down there lately? No? Then what might their approval be based on?

Reality 1
All fantasies proposed involve many people - meaning: there needs to be enough parking for them. Yet nowhere is a number of parking-spaces given.
While bragging with up to 600 people possibly accommodated - the flip-side of that success would be the need for at least 200 parking-spaces. With the whole "workable" market-area being rather small, even smaller when all is said (figuratively) and done (literally) ..... you get the picture! A healthy crowd in the market-space - without the garden - is 200 people tops standing, walking - with kids and dogs running - around. And all having a parking-space.

The lack of adequate parking alone precludes all biggish-ticket events!

Reality 2
The word "park" - as "in the park" - appears frequently here. Yet there is no park! A bit of grass with a few trees - including the 2 big cedars: but no park!
While there is the generally called Japanese Garden: more accurately the Shuzenji Garden - but who can pronounce or even remember that. Not even the architect does! The garden starts close to the cedars and stretches all the way along Cottonwood Creek to the Falls.
So it seems this garden is what they mean by park.
Seeing that no seating is factored into the market-proposal anywhere - picnics in the dirt! - and even if it were: there couldn't possibly be enough - people have to sit on the many rocks in the garden. And the more do that - the more damage is done - not necessarily deliberately but by simply exhausting the garden's capacity to maintain and renew itself.
Ironically - while Armstrong goes on about the connection of vaguely origami-like unit-roofing with the Japanese Garden close by: he has no problem with having the garden trampled through/on/down.
And there's Reid with how the new design creates a pleasant interaction with the park. On a market-day there will be a feeling like you are in a park. Not just like you're in a park: you'll actually be all over it! Particularly on special-event days.

This just shortly after Kozak officially recognizes Jim Sawada for having created a jewel in our city with this garden.


People's main focus - while attending the Cottonwood Market of old - is to shop and leave. Staying longer for an event has a different dynamic: different provisions need to be made for people's comfort and enjoyment of the facilities while being and moving around there. Including: being able to take a load off their feet!

Therefore the garden needs to be closed-off to be protected.

While Reid and Armstrong are beside themselves and each other with the possibility of attracting/squeezing-in multitudes - they are not considering the environmental impact any of their envisioned tricks must have. Never mind just using common sense! Basics, Mr. Architect! Worst-case scenarios, Mr. EcoSociety!

Reality 3
While Kozak says Yes, we wanted to make sure it is not used for sleeping over or for unsavory or illegal activities - she does not propose how in reality we are to go about dealing with this triple-threat.

To make sure - entry/exit down/up the slope right next to stalls couldn't be any easier! - how about barbed-wire-topped fencing and watchtowers around the whole? A single well-guarded in-and-out gate? Rent-a-cops with bullhorns everywhere 24/7? Big scary dogs? Strip searches? Bag checks? And at night: laser-triggered floodlights and sirens? More big scary dogs? Loud repetitious mall-music? Surprise no-nonsense crack-downs?
Most helpful during and after the proposed festivals, trade-shows, theatre, music, etc. with hundreds attending. When being unsavory and illegal is common. With getting high, doing it and eventually passing-out.

So we also need a fashion-police-force trained in differentiating between undesirables and real people.

You've seen the movies; you know the drill. And if none of this does it - we can always get tickets for their night-bus to Vancouver! And watch them get on! 

According to the Star Reid said: the plan was developed with the help of a committee of market vendors. Horse-puckie!
A committee is "a body of people subordinate to a deliberative assembly." No deliberative assembly - here all market-vendors (unless Reid is the assembly)! - ever got together and approved a committee for making unilateral decisions for the Whole!
A couple of camp-following market-vendors at the EcoSociety do not comprise a committee.

Ultimately - what was supposed to be a basic farmers' market may cost close to a cool million. How much beyond the 42.600 so far is the tax-payer to get stuck with?

This fairie-dust proposal is a manipulation of the approval-process by Armstrong & Reid, clumsily attempting to get themselves on the map for reasons unconnected to local needs.

All this is what Mayor Kozak and (partial) Council approve (of).  
And feed. 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The World According to David Reid

David Reid, EcoSociety, himself confirms - Committee of the Whole, 21 March, 2016 - what I for some time had been calling the possibility of a Tom Thomson/David Reid Axis. A power-sharing vision of Railtown. Possibility then - clear intention now. The one, single, only mention - period - of Railtown during his presentation. Two poles: the new Chamber of Commerce quarters in the CPR Station to the north - a new (part-time) Cottonwood Market to the south. According to him. The rest - seemingly - filler of incidental concern.

Also see post
14 Dec. 2015

Even though a new market will be non-operational most of the week, month, year. A fact - no matter what band-shell, markets, concerts, weddings, group-picnics, trade shows, theatre, festivals etc. are proposed for there to gloss-over this fact. But how could he miss with BBQ spots: the fragrance of frying dead animals wafting through all of the above is certain to be a winner - particularly with surely present undesirables and dogs. People's Park. 

All this in the rather small space left after configuring the market proper, access, parking, various storage-facilities and toilets. But packing them in real tight like to make them appear more than they are is part of the architect's oeuvre.

Another layer of the gloss: area food security - according to Reid - made possible through (t)his market. Only! Not the Wednesday-one on Baker - nor any others anywhere in the area or just anywhere. The Co-op is bound to love this one!


In the Beginning
the real Cottonwood Market is torn down single-handed by Kevin Cormack, City Manager - unapproved by Council.

Then - a City-Staff-generated Request for Decision asks Council to fund a pre-plan plan by Cover Architectural Collaborative for a new market with taxpayered $12.600. Council promptly approves: a shopping-list - basically.

While this would be the time to ask customers/vendors specific questions about what specifically they liked about the old market and specifically expect of the new: it does not happen!
But is left to the architect and David Reid: the latter totally in charge of fundraising for the market and really in charge of the whole thing - well, with Kevin Cormack, always Kevin Cormack, but certainly not Council - while the market is to be built on municipal property and owned by the City. Plus - be still, poor heart! - Reid plans to open for business within a few months! With Council showing no concern.

Immediate demolition of the old market is deemed crucial because City-engineers find - just like that and never before: structures are totally unfit for human consumption. No written report on this is volunteered by Staff or demanded by Council.

The Request includes an anonymous community business-partner ... also dealing in wood - who wants to participate in the new market, while making a significant (financial) contribution to it nudge-nudge. Council neither insists on knowing his name and how-much nor asks for clarification of the appropriateness of this beautiful friendship.

Also see post
The Arrogance of Wood-Rail-Cotton-Town Who
4 Jan. 2016

After never having been shown the pre-plan plan - we eventually get to see the real thing as a done deal - surprise, surprise! - in the Railtown public-input presentation. Everything else is only general ideas on district-development. Not so the farmers' market - that's locked-in: Reid going it solo. 
This also is telling of his king-of-the-castle attitude. While there had to be a pre-plan plan - various sketched ideas tossed around - these were not shown to those paying for that phase. Us. Meaning: our input at that crucial time is found what? Unnecessary? A bother?
While $12.600 were for the pre-plan plan only - one wonders about the designers' fees for what they actually definitively come-up with beyond it. Council?

Particularly as what they do come-up with does not take customers/vendors into account as feeling, thinking people - just crowds to be manipulated in a computer-game.

The plan is a wet dud!

Also see post
Input: The Farmers' Market
1 Mar. 2016

Because of an image-thing - what else? - Reid is leaving out from his presentation why the re-birth of his Vanity Fair won't happen for the upcoming season - in fact - not until 2017. If then.


Considering the unpopularity of Kalesnikoff Lumber in/around Glade these days - for reasons well part of the EcoSociety's usual desk-thumping: it is astonishing-or-not to see their coziness with Reid in connection with the farmers' market.
LETTER: Skepticism about logging warranted
Nelson Star, 21 Mar. 2016
But then - Reid is rumored to have political ambitions. Need I say more!  

Image problems all around! 
Big ones! 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

What Goes Around Bites You In The Butt!

The premise of this post being that the City's Railtown/Market input-extension specifically is about the top-to-bottom unworkable market-design: this not previously noticed(!?!) by its architects(!?!) and initiators(!?!). Over months! Neither rooves above nor ground below work and little in between.

See also post
Input: The Farmers' Market
1 March 2016

Simply - the design should have been based on an acknowledged specific purpose, grounded in common sense: not the designers'/initiators' egos taking flight. On the Flying Nun's wimple!

Many vendors have been increasingly feeling insufficiently or not at all consulted in the decision-making process - starting with the overly hasty demolition of the previous market. While quite rightly they are the only experts in this!

So now the City goes back to start - not collecting 200. In fact, taxpayers (including local vendors!) are short 12.600. Because actually a new market won't be ready until sometime in maybe 2017 possibly, and the coming season will be spent in tents. Sound familiar? Mind you: now it's the vendors' tents.


To Be Considered For The Market Proper
1. Functionality - Stalls
Stalls should be under a single continuous roof - there may be several (possibly 3) stall-units: a square/rectangle with one side open - the empty core possibly used for smaller performances, exhibits, demonstrations. Individual stalls to be separated from each other with (re)movable partitions - about 4' high. Allowing for stalls to be reconfigured according to need.
The market must provide an environment in which vendors/customers are/feel relatively safe from rain, wind, sun. Planning must be conservative-functional, based on a worst-case scenario: for instance - rain by the bucket lately!
Therefore stall-units need to be raised above ground-level, what with providing sufficient overall drainage being unfeasible.
Therefore stall-units need to have a back - about 4' high - against which vendors can safely stack and keep dry: back-ups.
Therefore the rooves of stall-units need sufficiently extending eaves - with gutters - in the back to provide overall dry/cool shelter there - and in the front to keep displayed wares dry/cool - with customers in comfortable dry/cool shopping-mode.
Therefore rooves must not be too high: the higher they are - the easier entry of rain, wind, sun will be made. Incidentally - then hooks in reachable cross-beams would supply additional (hanging-)space for displays of merchandise.


2. Functionality - Ground(s)
The overall ground needs to be level, solid and safe to walk on in any weather - regardless of footwear worn. Wheelchairs? Walkers?
The total space is to be well-lit - in/outsides - on a programmable timer; cleaned and patrolled constantly/consistently by the City: its owner with sole responsibility.

3. Aesthetics
It is impossible to recreate the former Cottonwood Market's historical funkiness, traditional connectedness of vendors/customers: the major draw for locals/tourists. But! An attempt must be made to provide continuity, a similar ambience.
Going wide-open pseudo-edgy can't do that, will put-off vendors/customers - and  who needs the "soulless" aberration of a farmers' market on Saturday - when we already have a satisfactory one on Wednesday: familiar, convenient, comfortable and closer.

Reality Check
There may be "official" voices against this kind of design in relation to City Hall's distaste for undesirables and immature yearnings to be cool - but not staying on fixed purpose with the design would create resistance in vendors, customers, thus problems for the City: the market may become an expensive why-bother-going waste of space in Railtown.

Considering the design-context: empty seclusion of an open market most of the week, the month, the year just can't be made other-use proof.
Again: its overall design - including a parkish environment - can only be based on a worst-case scenario - not wishful thinking. It will only take 1 child to play with 1 turd or 1 used needle to shut the whole thing down with a bang! For good!

When all is said and said: in that location the market needs to operate from a building - period - spilling outward during market-hours only; the building itself in constant multi-use year-around and securely locked during off-times.


On a positive note: the delay may give them time to get it right!

Giuseppe Arcimboldo:    

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Path: History to Heritage to Culture

All three are Nelson's often breathless props and (marketing-)ploys to be, become more and stay relevant. With these concepts' inherent value individually and as a natural progression disregarded.
Generally to City Hall "history" and "heritage" are synonymous, as are "culture" and "art".

Simply put - this is the aggregate of significant past events recorded in chronological order. Seeing that usually and over time they are recorded - if recorded - by people with varying perspectives: these records may become arbitrarily selective - more historical than historic.
Remembering all, unflinchingly acknowledging dodgy and whited-out parts is of vital importance for (not necessarily to) succeeding generations. Because:
If you don't know history you are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.                                                                                          Anonymous

An objectively comprehensive, seamless history of Nelson since incorporation has never been recorded; local history is not taught in local schools. Therefore the average Nelsonite knows (and cares) little about the city's history - while claiming to superficially.

Nelson's partial, lovingly written pre-incorporation history by John Norris and the mind-numbingly detailed, often straying off-topic History of Nelson webpage of the Visitor Info Centre stop just as things get really interesting. What with the Visitor Info page - for many years - having promised their history To be continued.
Nelson's present waiting to catch-up with its past.


Heritage as Tradition
Briefly - it is a set of values - a behavioral mindset - passed-on, lived and experientially added to from generation to generation.
While this is the commonly accepted definition - it clearly is not about heritage-tomatoes and buildings!

Smaller social groups within the larger Whole bring their particular heritage to it, and ideally all accept, blend, learn from each other's to eventually - together - form a stronger, more colorful, all-inclusive heritage for following generations to live by.
The goal of multi-culturalism 

Heritage as Entitled Attitude
An inherited mindset may be a positive motivating influence while just as easily a negative driving force: when generations of a domineering group - within the Whole's social construct - insist on maintaining a traditional mindset of assumed superiority, power over other weaker so-called minorities.
The failure of multi-culturalism 

Heritage as Non-Contextual Label
In Nelson capital H Heritage solely means - usually more historical than historic - buildings, only indirectly connected to heritage. While its previous Community Heritage Commission was fanatically protective of such buildings, the current Heritage Working Group is fiercely protective of no particular mandate. With historic/historical buildings still called "heritage" - out of habit and conceptual linguistic misuse.

According to Sir Edward Tylor, cultural anthropologist, 1832-1917, culture is that complex whole that includes knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, law, custom and other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of a society.

Art ideally a refined - imaginative/creative - expression, reflection of a way of life - a culture.
While at City Hall capital C Culture exclusively means capital A Art - usually with little conscious cultural context established.

A culture is the specific ways/means by which humans interact in universal situations within a given social group - positively and/or negatively.
Today moving quickly from one culture into another may present hiccups: culture-shock. Though ideally accepted as of equal value.

The History/Heritage/Culture Connect
The present-day culture of a social group is fed into by inherited traditions, mindsets, experiences of generations - those largely influenced by historical/historic movement.
History begets heritage begets today's culture.

Close to home: The suppression of indigenous and all other non-white groups and their heritage/culture by domineering whites - always whites, in particular WASPs! - through their mindset of superiority/entitlement - became part of following white generations' heritage. Somewhat toned-down in today's culture of the (not quite so) domineering (any longer) group. 
Yet covert racism and overt discrimination are alive and well.
A full-blooded heritage!

Without Chinese market-gardeners - despite their often horrific treatment - keeping early Nelson healthy with fresh, inexpensive produce thus in cultural-development mode at a crucial time in its history, working twice as hard for half the pay; disdained hippies in days gone-by fueling the local/area economy with income from high-quality - gasp! - dope: where or what would Baker St. as-is-today be? Two examples only!


History, heritage, culture of others: Unacceptable! 

Travis Louie: