Monday, October 8, 2018

On the question of future creeping development on Estuary lands in Squamish


I am afraid that many do not understand how Estuaries form and inexorably progress to forested/drier land.

For an Estuary to continue to exist as a wetland there must be progressive growth at the the seaward end. This is hardly happening in Squamish. We have an active port which involves regular and expansive dredging (snipping off the the growth end of the productive estuary land). What is not being used by the Port facility and Urban Development is being used for log sorting and storage, leaving a smaller and smaller area for wetland.

Meanwhile the more mature estuary to the north is getting drier and will eventually be swallowed by greedy developers. We are starting to see furtive surveying ribbons and pegs appear amongst the shrubbery.The whole peninsular is going to be severely developed and will encroach on any land that is showing any sign of progression to drier land. 

Remember that the present downtown of Squamish was once estuary wetland and not so long ago. Our present estuary is becoming rather like a shrinking wet museum.

What we should be doing, if we want to continue having a port facility, is constructing a floating port which extends out into the Sound in front of the 'growing' estuary. This floating port could be connected by a thin bridge/road raised on concrete piles....Hey maybe I am an unfulfilled, reincarnated Isambard Kingdom Brunel  .....But I don't think he was much of an ecologist! 

The Chinese and the Arabs in Dubai are very good at building things on the water.

Note: My point is that due to the apparent lack of understanding about estuaries we will lose it in the not so distant future due to the continued apical dredging I mentioned. The estuary will simply disappear due to ecological succession irregardless of any development further back/north. In short the developers will find that the land has become drier and for the pickings!. 

I was serious about the floating port concept which would solve the problem in the future....but ironically too futuristic, I guess. I will pursue this in my Quixotic mode! :-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

On Indigenous Languages



What does "making official" mean?....Meaningless. The language must come from within the people. In Squamish we have a wonderful band person who has fostered her language and teaches it (Tsawsayia Spukwus). She is the model to follow...not some 'outside' dictum of officialdom.
This woman's work reflects her enthusiasm which has rubbed off on her people....and us. This can happen within any indigenous group in BC or any other Province and I hope it will...."Unofficially". I do not speak Norse or Latin; I speak what I learned in my village of origin in my time. Of course, the English language is a mixture of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Latin, French and others...all from our history and naturally evolved; as all language should be.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Regarding the removal of  oak trees from a Squamish trail area because bears were attracted to the acorns which seasonally fall.

From the District of Squamish

We have updated the original post with this message from the Conservation Officer Service and District of Squamish Wildlife Educator: The decision to remove non-native oak trees from the Discovery Trail was multi-faceted. We had to weigh the very real concerns of public safety along a District Safe Routes to School trail versus removing food from bears. 

There are certain areas within Squamish that are considered ‘no-go’ zones for bears. Safe Routes to Schools are one of these areas where we do our best to either manage attractants (cutting vegetation back to provide less food and improve sight-lines) or remove attractants to reduce the potential for conflict. 

The Conservation Officer Service has been called to this location many years in a row, some bears have been relocated and some bears have been destroyed. Removing the trees was the only solution for this location that would allow for the protection of both the public and the bears.


From me:

There is apparently no way to talk to a conservation officer...but then I cannot talk to God either! Perhaps you might pass this on: I strongly disagree with the decision to remove the native Garry Oak trees concerned here. 

The acorns are natural food for the bears.so they are not habituated to garbage or any man made attractant. We have encroached on their habitat. They should have closed the trail and let the bears move on. 

My dealings with Conservation Officers in the past was with an understanding that they are compassionate people...I guess times have changed. 

There is a mature oak tree at the entrance to Howe Sound Secondary...are we to expect that this tree will be targeted under the guise of safety? I surely hope not...but who knows? 

BTW, regarding compassion: Several years ago a conservation officer had to reluctantly shoot a habituated bear on my deck. The man was reduced to tears over this but he was well justified. I realize the difference regarding THIS case and so should you!

My final question here is, though is doesn't really have much bearing on the actual issue, if these oaks are "non-native" as stated by the Conservation Office, what species are they and where did they come from? All oaks are majestic slow growing species and are no threat to any other species here. They are definitely NOT invasive. Garry Oak is native.

Monday, September 17, 2018

To any prospective Squamish Mayoralty or Council Member. Please comment (More later):
(Note: NOT IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE...They are all important)


A Squamish Taxpayers peeves and druthers (more later):
1. Lack of Parking in town
2. Cars parked in the street when their garages are full of stored ‘junk’
3. Dogs off leash and no remedial enforcement of the Bylaw which is on the books.
4. Lack of affordable housing
5. Private land use Bylaws too restrictive…more latitude for innovative 'densified' houses (Lane-ways etc.)
6. Corner stores etc. in new subdivisions.
7. New zoning to allow residential cheaper housing in industrial zoned areas.
8. Speed up land rehabilitation (old gas station lots etc.)
9. Lobby for Roundabouts in all dangerous and congested intersections.
10. Real need for a new access road to the Highlands and Quest.
11. New public Boat launch soon.
12. Need for increased communication between Council and District Staff.
13. Need for more efficient planning for infrastructure and road maintenance. Do it when you say it will be done; from start to completion. An awareness of weather patterns is very important.
14. Need for more efficient and comprehensive snow clearing…more machinery needed for side streets and driveways.
15. Reduce whimsical expensive projects…’art is great, but money is precious’. Don’t plan projects that cannot be started until the next election!
16. Support secondary industry. (Like, don’t ship out raw logs exclusively).
17. Develop Intercity transit, with a regular, realistic timetable.
18. Develop some fixed penalties for problem violations.
19. Be vigilant regarding Nepotism in all Council business.
20. Fine tune waste management and ensure clarity of requirements and outcomes.
21. Pay much attention to our precious Environment in all actions.
(Any concerns about Education should be referred to prospective School Board Officials)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Thoughts on the Housing Problem in Squamish, BC

  1. It is the type of housing development that is important. We need more lower cost rental buildings. The only way to do this is to dedicate rezoned land to rental only and to get some form of subsidization. Also loosen up the restrictions on land splitting for lane way housing and multifamily dwellings.
    Allow trailer parks in non-floodplain areas. 
    But there are also other ways of solving our problem too.We have a large industrial park but it doesn’t, shouldn’t, mean that we could not have some lower cost housing there too. Some people would not mind being close to Walmart or Home Depot. Look how close housing is to Park Royal. 
  2. Pardon me, but I have to say this: Look at our East Indian community. They don’t build a condo to house their multifamily members, they build a nice looking large house which looks like a single family dwelling but accommodates all their family, sometimes three generations…good on them! You may not like this next to your little house....But!
  3. We need some radical changes to our housing bylaws to help accommodate 'Densification' and availability to all ...not just the richer. And we need a closer look at our gross lack of parking. Any house which has a garage and has cars of its residents parking on the street should use their garage for at least one vehicle, not exclusively for storage. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

My feelings about Canada too


This is an open letter written by a Florida judge about the CANADA/USA relationships & history.

Robert Meadows (Circuit Court Judge, Florida) wrote:

Here is one American’s take on the growing trade war with the US and Canada.

"Have you ever stopped to consider how lucky we Americans are to have the neighbors we have? Look around the globe at who some folks have been stuck sharing a border with over the past half century:

North Korea / South Korea

West Germany / East Germany

Greece / Turkey

Iran / Iraq

Israel / Palestine

India / Pakistan

China / Russia

We’ve got Canada! Canada. About as inoffensive a neighbor as you could ever hope for. In spite of all our boasts of “American exceptionalism” and chants of “America first,” they just smile, do their thing and go about their business. They are on average more educated, have a higher standard of living, free health care, and almost no gun problems. They treat immigrants respectfully and already took in over 35,000 Syrians in the last two years.

They’re with us in NATO, they fought alongside us in World War I, World War II, Korea, the Gulf War, the Bosnian War, Afghanistan, the Kosovo War and came to our defense after 9/11. There was that one time when Canada took a pass on one of our wars: Vietnam. Turned out to be a good call.

They’ve been steady consumers of American imports, reliable exporters of metals and petroleum products (they are the biggest importer of U.S. products from 37 states), and partnered with NASA in our space missions.

During 911 many aircraft were diverted to Newfoundland, an island province off Canada's east coast where Americans were housed in people's homes for two weeks and treated like royalty. In return for their hospitality, this administration slapped a 20% tariff on the products of Newfoundland's only paper mill, thereby threatening it's survival.

And what do Canadians expect of us in return? To be respected for who and what they are: Canadians. That’s what I call a good neighbor.

But the King of Chaos couldn’t leave well enough alone. Based on his delusions of perpetual victimhood, out of the clear blue, he’s declared economic war on Canada. On CANADA! And he did it based on Canada being a national security risk to the US! For no good reason, other than the voices in his head that told him it was a war he could win. So why not do it, then?

Trump went ahead and imposed his tariffs on aluminum and steel even though we have a trade surplus with Canada on those products! Trudeau retaliated in kind. And now this morning, the White House is preparing a new wave of tariffs in retaliation for Trudeau’s retaliation. This time he threatens a tariff on automobiles even though 70% of their components originate in the U.S.! It’s just a temporary spat, right? Except for that smile on Vladimir’s face in the Kremlin, as the NATO pact unravels a little more with each passing day.

Again, we’re talking about Canada. Our closest ally, friend and neighbor.

On behalf of an embarrassed nation, people of Canada, I apologize for this idiotic and wholly unnecessary attack. Please leave the back channels open. We the People of progressive persuasion stand with you.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

On the present State of the 'Garibaldi at Squamish' (a.k.a. 'Garibaldi Resort') proposal.

The Resort will be built in Phases over at least 20 years. That will mean 20 years of construction work and a chance to modify plans based on what is working best. BC’s Resort Development Guidelines ensure that Accommodation and Lift Capacity always remain in balance.
After the first phase is complete, only when the resort is shown to be viable at that level (via a formula called "BRC" or Balanced Resort Capacity that looks at lift capacity, hotel occupancy, and other factors) can the next phase begin construction.
This process repeats through all the phases, so accommodation capacity is always kept in balance with the resort facilities.

All this just a great endorsement of the value of 'Pressure Groups'. If it hadn't have been for them you would not be in the hopeful position you are now. Sure, you might be able to have a ski resort and a lucrative housing development...but without past resistance you would have created a water sucking, land grabbing, and District-dependent disaster. 

Good luck to you in your venture but never blame the pressure groups...we are the watch-dogs! We will continue to be vigilant!  

I am a little amazed at some of our 1st. Nations people...Don't get me wrong, I have tremendous respect for the majority. Some seem to be able to flip where ever it suits...whether it be for 'Trapping Rights' or for jobs or money! 

Never let it be said that our 'First Nations' have a 'Unified Stance'....But that's OK, I guess. "Chacun à son goût"! We do it all the time.