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.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A reply to a post regarding the relevance of Private schools


The case for abolishing Private Schools  (Click on this link)

In both Canada and the UK there is the equivalent of Comprehensive Schools and Private schools. You have some Grammar Schools still; we do not.. 

In all the schools there is a 'mind set' about what might be called a "good" or "bad" school. And here it is where it gets interesting. 

All parents want to feel their kids are getting a good education whatever school they may attend. The directing factors in this are tied up with the quality of teaching and the money spent on the school facilities and resources. 

All too often, and more often recently, the latter are lacking in many school districts and individual schools. Some parents who can afford it, have in their heads that if they send their kids to a Private School they will be giving their kids a better chance. Some choose to still use the Comprehensive system but seek areas to live where they perceive that a better Socio-economic environment will exist to ensure their goals. Often this is hit and miss.I favour the Comprehensive system but realize that it is only an optimum choice if the schools involved are well funded, have competent teachers and good leadership, fostering good morale. 

All too often this is a Utopia and one which is increasing in its incidence. The notion of better schools being found under the umbrella of Private and Grammar schools may well be a myth or becoming so too. I have taught through my whole career in a Comprehensive ( 'High School') environment.....and so might be said to deserve a back-patting:-)....but I am mindful of the restrictive nature of under-funding, overcrowded classes and lack of adequate service to students with learning difficulties and poor home support.We also have a rising need for more ESL teachers. 

The never-ending 'tug-of-war' between the perception of 'privilege' verses 'universality' is tearing at the fabric of Education...and ,yes, this is driven by politics. And this will never stop all the while Private Schools are subsidized by the tax-payer.

In short there is no real easy answer...only one which serves the conscience.


And here is an opinion from one of my cousins:

I taught in a comprehensive school and a grammar school and think the comprehensive system gives the best chances for more pupils, and in some cases is excellent for the most able children as well. But I don't wish to set myself up as an authority because after 12 years I left teaching. 

Some of my best experiences were in Africa - where I had boys with very little science background, not very good English but great willingness to learn and enormous, sometimes unjustified, respect for me as a teacher.

 Here in Spain, with my wife, I sent my step-children to first a state school, then a private, Catholic, one. They will have their own opinions on which came out best, and I had better not tread on sensitive feelings on the matter. But I will say that the normal state school was perfectly adequate and my children were very well treated as immigrants, and given special language classes for quite a long time. 

I know this is not really relevant in the questions that Dave has raised, but it is part of my experience. I think that private education distorts and unbalances what can be offered, and getting rid of private schools would be a very good thing.


And from a friend:


Blended Learning and Flipped Classrooms may help provide some of the answers which may seem, currently, beyond the scope of both public and private education, more likely the former...for many obvious reasons. Technology enabled learning offers all children - with appropriate internet access - the opportunity to develop what appear to be the skills and competencies required during this phase of our ride upon the Tofflerian Scientific-Technological wave; where collaboration, critical reasoning and communication skills are ‘de riguer’....where curiosity, context, challenge and control become mantras for experiential student driven learning...where learners regardless of age can progress as fast and as slow as they are able....where learners of similar abilities globally pursue the challenge of surviving the anthropocene...where fact and fiction build on shared curricula...where structured and unstructured curriculum are also balanced...where expository and discovery learning are reimagined with hope, peace and love and temperance the driving impulses...where personal and personalized learning find expression...where learners are held responsible for their learning and their contribution to the prevailing social, political and economic dictates.


And my reply to him:


Good vision, but the situation is, so often, hobbled by 'politico-economic' barriers which inevitably drive this vision into the privileged sectors of societies. Research can unwrap the models but then they have to be accepted and paid for. Throughout the modern history of educational innovation we have seen a more prevalent acceptance of various experimental models turning up in the private, and sometimes restrictive, religious sectors.

Let us hope that this trend will change. Keep up the good work from your end Paul.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Improving the revenue from The Squamish Adventure Centre


 To Squamish Council regarding the need to increase revenues from The Squamish Adventure Centre


Just a thought: Has anyone thought about the access to this site?. ...Not user friendly in my opinion. One way North to South you have to go to the main (terrible intersection) and then turn back on yourself .  South to North you could go straight by. Do we need another external consultant to tell us that? My answer would be a definite "No". 

By “going straight by” I mean that if you happen to go through the intersection (Cleveland/Highway 99 )in the fast lane (which is quite likely if you end up there while waiting to go through at the lights and were not quite sure where you turn to the Adventure Centre) it is quite possible that you may not be able to move over to the right lane as the exiting traffic speeds up….Hey presto, you miss the turn! This is important to the issue. The hours of opening are also important, they have to be tailored to the public if you want the maximum remuneration. The facilities that you offer should range from basic information to the provision of souvenirs…and also to, perhaps, scheduled entertainment.


There is an auditorium on site, so show promotional material which highlights our town and environment. The possibilities are far reaching, but don’t frivol our money away on nebulous consultants, as has been done so much in the past. I actually care about this great town!

Idea: When we do get our public transit to Vancouver and Whistler sorted out....Make this the main bus terminus but still keep one stop Downtown!”  My argument for a Roundabout at Cleveland and Hwy. 99 still stands (See later Blog on this.).

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Regarding the removal of John A. Macdonald's sculpture from Victoria City Hall.

History is History and should be preserved. But the issue here is not just John A. Macdonald; it involves ALL the later Prime Ministers who condoned and continued his legacy right up to fairly recent years.
Ask yourself: When did the residential school system actually stop? Maybe we should get rid of all their memorials too!?
Should it be ALL or NOTHING? Or should it be just him? For sure the statue should not be destroyed...no more than all the memorials to all the despots and dictators throughout history....they are landmarks to our triumphs and mistakes, from which we should all learn. What we revere and celebrate is always our choice.

One person said: "Just put them all in a park somewhere with ever evolving descriptive plaques. You could have a revolving park of shame, or a colonial oppression sculpture garden. You could also have a good fellows area when revisionists declare someone worthy again. (Redemption) Replace the original locations with plants, playgrounds, art....whatever."

Another said: "To all those who say it's a part of history I say: Was Russia wrong for removing statues of Stalin? Was Iraq wrong for removing statues of Hussein? Was Germany wrong for removing Nazi monuments? Yes we need to acknowledge our history but we shouldn't glorify past wrongs".


And I replied: "The point is from where they are removed.They should not be destroyed but kept in an appropriate space to reflect the history in context. Otherwise we would have few 3D records of most politicians....They are not usually known for their saintly dispositions! If they are really bad they should never be revered but still remembered. There are still statues of Nero, Caligula, Napoleon etc. and should be. Anyway History is a subjective interpretation of Chronicles and Chronicles are usually full of inaccuracies.,,,but they are all materials from which we may reflect upon some of our mistakes".

Sunday, August 5, 2018

On the need for a new Boat Launch at Squamish. BC.

I read with dismay in the Squamish Chief that the Squamish boat launch at the Yacht Club will be removed soon.
‘Woodfibre Liquid Natural Gas’, apparently, will not be allowing boat launch use or any other by the public at Darrel Bay for at least four years. It seems that Council has NO firm plans to build another boat launch, even though there has been feedback requesting this from several public members in recent surveys.
This really begs the question as to how much our Council is aware of the impending need at present. In my opinion unnecessary money has been often wasted on ventures of lesser importance in recent months. There is little need to list them as they have been often aired in our local media
The ‘bottom line’ seems to be that we will be unlikely to get a much-needed replacement boat launch in the foreseeable future...great! We need a survey to determine how much use our present dilapidated launch gets ...especially at weekends.

Any town on the ocean or lake needs a boat-launch . I predict that many will be upset if we suddenly find that there is no such facility.  Our Mayor has indicated that there have been discussions about possible ways and means regarding this whole issue. However, philosophies change and the prioritization of budgets change. At present there is a need to rebuild or modify the Civic Centre and many other buildings in town. G.A.S. is back on the cards....and such recent initiatives as our innovative directional signs must be completed.

I am aware that there is a plan in the unspecified future to have a launch incorporated with other more sophisticated structures on the ocean front ...but, alas, way down the line. It is my understanding that there has been a survey which very much included space for our druthers regarding the ocean front...and a boat launch need was mentioned many times. 

Please remember that many people in this town have invested in small boats at no small cost...I ask our Council not to turn its back on the issue. This is not a question of privilege. we really need a new facility now.

Go to any community up our coast of any significant size and you will find some type of boat launch...let us push some condos aside a bit and do it!


Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Birds and the Bees etc.

Recently, we have been having some problems with bees visiting our Hummingbird feeders. I like bees, we need bees BUT…
Hummingbirds find them irritating at best and dangerous at worst. So, what do you do?
It has been suggested that if you move the feeder a short distance away, the bees get really confused and it will take time for even one of them to find the feeders in the new location…then the successful scout must go all the way back to relay the new place info to the hive. They cannot just tell their buddies at the source site. I tried this method….and yes it does work for a while.
Saucer style feeders are the best because they are not so prone to leaking and the bees seem to find it harder to reach the sugar solution. Bees are more attracted to yellow and Hummingbirds are more attracted to red…so there is a choice here too.
Try to plant bee-attractant flowers in your garden and hope!
Also, do NOT use the “red nectar” sold in stores because it is deemed bad for the birds ( https://www.thespruce.com/is-red-dye-harmful-to-hummingbirds-386578 ) and keep to a 3-1, or 4-1 ratio of water to plain sugar (NOT HONEY) …. 3-1 for colder days and the other for warm days (All a matter of energy).
Wasps are another issue and I set wasp specific traps (Google for them) and I do chemically discourage them too (if you see what I mean).
To prevent ants…be sure to purchase feeders which have ant dams at the top or hang your feeders with fishing line ( ant’s athletic skills do not run to scaling such a thin access “rope”).

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Swimming and Children

Recently we have been very much aware of the stranded Thailand boys in the flooded cave. I have just read some criticism of parents who have children who cannot swim, which is the case with most of the boys now stranded in the cave system.
We must be aware that swimming instruction needs to be done in a comfortable water environment such as a pool or lake, not in a river with currents or in the sea where there are pounding waves. Many in poorer Countries or in isolated inland areas do not have access to such facilities. Even if they are near water, the conditions could dangerous for many reasons, especially in tropical climates.
When I was a child in the early 50’s, in Britain, public pools were rare; waves at the seaside could be rough and you would have to be near anyway to enjoy these places regularly…we take our transportation for granted today. I did not learn to swim until I was 12, and then only because our school had a small pool.
Most parents would dearly love their children to be able to swim as early as possible but a luxury such as this is often illusive to many. So, I say to the critics of such parents that we should all be more sensitive.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Garlic

 Quit watering them once the leaves start to turn yellow prior to harvesting if you can.....but we live in a rainy place, right?
To harvest, don't pull them up, dig them up gently with a fork. when the leaves start to turn yellow at the bottom....do a test on one or two plants to see if the bulbs are big enough. The trick is not to damage the outer skin covering.
After harvesting, try to avoid washing as much as possible. Dry the soil and gently rub off the remainder off, then hang them upside down in a cool dark place with good air circulation..... leave til all the leaves are dry. You can then cut off the leaves leaving a stalk about 4 inches long. Soft stemmed will keep longer (6 months) than hard stemmed (2-4 months).
Some people plat the leaves for storage. Enjoy.
I do it this way every year.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Dangerous or Not


Trump ......Could this man be dangerous, or not?
A view:
He launched himself as a "Populist". Populists rely on promises to the masses including many who are uneducated, many who want better in their lives for various reasons. He was elected.
Now cast your minds back to the early thirties in Europe. Many of you cannot, in reality, remember what went on , but you can indulge in virtual reality by "Googling" or by reading History.
Germany was in dire economic straits after WW1. The conquering powers had put the squeeze on this Country, big time. Hindenburg was in power and Hitler was appointed Chancellor. Hitler was ambitious and idealistic. Enter "The Night of the Long Knives" where he consolidated his grip on power. He gradually got rid of those important elements which were in his way of fulfillment. Right wing extremists were already organised, supportive and active. The stage was set.
The main promise to the people was "Libensraum" ...the extension of living space for Germany and a hope for better things. Meanwhile a convenient "Scapegoat" was conjured...the perception of harm coming from racial groups and minority groups like the Jews and various others. This notion is very powerful for ambitious Politicians.
Fast forward to the various pushes and invasions of European Countries prior to 1939. and the ultimate declaration WW11.
Remember that Germany was a Democratic Country prior to 1939 and remained so, after 1945. But in between?...well, you know that!
Now in the USA we have Extreme groups: We have the NRA, the KKK and a whole bunch of extreme Religious organizations, most of which support the present administration..
Now, YOU ALL can decide what this means...I leave it to you.

Or perhaps this is all a delusion.....I hope so!
On Preparing and Eating Soft-boiled Eggs

Do you eat soft-boiled eggs? How do you boil them, how long? How to you open them, which end, why? Do you know why brown bread is traditionally eaten with them?

We cover our eggs with cold water and put the eggs into the pan so that they are just covered. We then bring the water to the boil. At the point of boiling we time for 4 minutes. the eggs are then placed in egg cups with the pointed end up. The pointed end has no air space and so is 100% egg white (albumen). 

I tap twice at one point with a spoon and then using my thumb I fold back the top....Usually it shows a clean edge with no small fragments of shell. Then I eat. 

The apparent traditional reason for using brown bread is that there is a good content of B vitamins. Any runny part of the egg still may have an anti-B enzyme so the the bread helps to off-set any degradation. It is also a good taste experience! . 

Many cut their toasted bread into fingers and dip them into the yolk....yummy! This is just our way but follow your own bliss! Personalized rituals are fun. 

We have one for poached eggs too but that is another story.  I eat more than 300 eggs a year....My cholesterol level is good....The myth that eggs are not totally good for you has now been debunked and we have never had a salmonella attack by eating runny eggs. My wife and I are 72. 


But be careful of Romaine /Cos lettuce from your local Supermarket, apparently!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

North Korea......My Druthers and Crystal Ball

Mr Trump is doing his usual switching back and forth. Or is he applying some subtle brilliant diplomacy? Take your choice, I guess! South Korea and North Korea have just had a surprise meeting. And, as Trump so often says, "Wait and see!"

The US would like to see North Korea clear out all their "Nukes" and has even suggested that they be shipped to the USA. They also would like to keep the Nuclear umbrella in that area as future security. Seems like a real stumbling block to me.

The carrot that Trump APPEARS to be offering is protection from the US, relaxation of all sanctions and even direct support for the North's move to stability and prosperity. But what will Kim do ? He is being pushed into a sticky corner. He would dearly love to keep his "Nukes" for his Country's protection and as a deterrent. The fear of a 'Libya situation' looms in his mind. His fears and distrust need to be allayed. 

So what next? I think they SHOULD have a summit, put all the cards on the table and move toward denuclarization ASAP, with a signed treaty which ensures the North's protection, coupled with real support. Pile on some real goodies and Kim will bite...they have been desperately in need for years.

The USA should remove their military stuff from South Korea completely. They don't need them there. In the case of any aggression from the North, the USA has more than enough Nuclear contingencies in the form of submarines and ICBMs. They have their navy which can be deployed in the unlikely-hood of a unilateral act from the North. China could help in this whole process if Trump would stop upsetting them. 

With this being written, I will return to my comfortable arm-chair! The downside for me is that if this works, they will probably give Trump the Nobel Peace Prize! :-)




Monday, May 21, 2018

To the Anti-Monarchists re. The recent Royal Wedding 


True, the Royal family is a result of power struggles, religious corruption, greed and all manner of negative things to which we might refer. The whole present British fabric of economy and politics was founded on the same things. Much of the wealth left today comes from Slavery and the power lust of the British Empire....and, true, not to be proud of......But: 

These are negative things which we could focus upon and wring our hands. However they are products of History and we should better look forward rather than back. The members of the Royalty did not ask to be born into their present mold, they inherited it as any family member, in any family can so inherit from their immediate ancestors. But any of them can, and many do, perform good things which serve society. 

Meghan is not poor and all I have seen is positive...give Harry and her a chance. The present Royal family is a business which the UK has seen fit to tolerate and use for positive outcomes, even if the 'Privilege' thing sticks in many of our throats. 

It was a great wedding with a strong 'inclusive' twist......Such a great 'sermon' by rev. Curry and inspiring music.

On the never ending USA/World debates 

All the different slants of argument have merit to a greater or lesser extent. Trump despises everything that Obama has done and reacts with school-yard behaviour. 

The structure of the American system means that any group in power will be hobbled in their quest throughout their terms. Israel HAS to be an ally with the USA and visa versa because there is a strong Jewish influence in USA economics. Judaeo-Christianity has been pitted against Islam for two thousand years and these religions have multiple factions which disagree within the respective religions. Islam is probably worse in its ferocity. Mix in Natural resources with Power and guess what?....problems which are virtually unsolvable. 

The chess game never ends and at best reaches a balance from time to time. World leaders take turns playing...some are better than others. However I sometimes wonder whether Trump is cool enough for the job. 

The NRA is a powerful organization and formidable in their lobbying of the Trump admin. I disagree with their interpretation of the Constitution regarding gun ownership. IMO, people may have guns for sensible protection and hunting but high powered assault weapons for all citizens? ..Nah, never in my book.Look at the wording of the amendment. At any rate there should be stringent registration.

 Health care should be as universal as the economy can stand.....not unfairly biased to the rich. Care should be made before scrapping existing Trade Agreements and 'America always first' is something in which the nation should tread lightly. There, world problems on the way to being solved! 

Beware all these: Nationalism, Religion and Raw Greed. The American Civil War never ended and that is the USA's legacy. And, no doubt, King George of England was certainly responsible for a lot of present day problems.

But, "The past is a Foreign Country, they do things differently there". 

And this: 
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech” (William Shakespeare ).

Friday, April 20, 2018

An update on Roundabouts


Here we go again!
I just watched our Global News and, guess what ?...They bought up the issue of roundabouts re. the recent Bus/ Truck tragedy at an intersection.
I have been saying for years that Roundabouts save lives...And they are statistically proven to reduce fatalities by over 90%. In our local town we need a roundabout or even more roundabouts at our problem, accident prone, intersections.
The D.O.S.Council has not pushed hard enough in lobbying for this...I guess more people have to die first!

I hope The Ministry responsible for BC.Highways sees this and stops dragging their butts on this! In Countries where there is extensive use of roundabouts there is far less road rage.....the people who use them have to drive, drive well and have little time for the confrontations we see here. Even in those places where it seems that there are no rules....if you watch you can see the skills, the concentration and the resulting statistical lack of serious incidences. Go with the flow, concentrate, use your horn when necessary, learn and keep cool! Oh and I.C.B.C should reward good drivers and severely nail the bad ones! Wanna see what I mean?... ride in a Taxi in Mexico City...a humbling experience!  :That's all I have to say about that"...for now. Now go to this link:

https://trib.al/ejan75j

Friday, April 13, 2018

On the Kinder Morgan Pipeline April 2018


Much has been said recently on this issue:

The trouble is, the Premiere of Alberta wants her "cake and eat it'. 

She wants to keep her economy going with minimal tax ( think about their sales tax!). She does not want to give us (BC) anything in terms of monetary support for our inconvenience and possible damage to our water ways. 

She says she supports Confederation but her Province is one of the richest in resources. If we are a Confederation, we should all have equal shares in those resources. We pay heavy sales tax and so should they. For her to threaten to cripple our economy and cut off our rightful resources is inexcusable. 

I have words for her and they are not polite! The whole Province of BC should not be punished as a result of her desires The Feds should step up to the plate and sort this out very soon. Why should I pay almost twice as much for my gas and oil because of the extreme views of a few. I am not against the pipe line,only the very real dangers to our inner waterway. 

The pipeline should go to the Roberts Bank area and an extra pier for loading should be constructed. Yes I AM for the curtailment of Fossil-fuel use but it should be done gradually. Better still, burn our own resources for our own use and not export it all to nations who have little conscience in its use.....pissed off!!!


A slightly different view from a friend:

"So far it’s been a lot of hyperbole on both sides. I fully support John Horgan in his perfectly legal means of slowing down and trying to stop the pipeline. 

BC has not challenged the constitution or done anything illegal. They have used the courts to challenge another governments decision. That is how the rule of law in a democratic society works. Kinder Morgan is using this to get out of a bad deal for them. The fact that they just discovered a huge reserve of much cheaper oil in Bahrain probably has nothing to do with their decision to mothball the pipeline. 

Notice they were very particular not to abandon the pipeline, just stop any further development at this time. They want concessions to get their costs lower. They don’t want to pay for a spill response until a spill happens. If they don’t get that they still have Bahrain. It’s a win/win for them."

Here is an article related to all this:

http://www.macleans.ca/opinion/the-kinder-morgan-spat-is-an-intractable-slog-but-its-also-democracy-in-action/

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Some recent correspondence with our Council

From: Dave Colwell  

Subject: Re. Your recent calls for input

Squamish Council:

We have recently been inundated with requests for input regarding the running of this town.

We have had numerous requests to fill out surveys  regarding the above. I have dutifully filled them out.

There have been numerous Public Forums.

But you do not let up. You must be mindful of the numerous modes of input that you have had access too.

Namely:

  1.  Squamish Chief Letters
  2.  Squamish Reporter Posts
  3.  Numerous Survey Data
  4.  Personal letters to you by citizens like me.
  5.  An awareness of all that our wonderful service clubs are doing for this community
  6.  The obvious Environment needs of our area in the light of Global problems.
  7.  The financial needs, in balance with all of the above



With respect, I think there is a need on your part to think about and discuss all this in a rational thoughtful manner, without prejudice, and to think about the economy of your strategies.



Again, Respectfully, Dave Colwell

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On Mar 7, 2018, at 8:07 AM, Dave Colwell   wrote:

I already made a comment but  I wish to say this in addition to my previous words which may have been interpreted as negative and  possibly not supportive:

I am fully in favour of anything and everything which will enhance efficient Government, Business, Ecological stability, Social interaction, and most important, COMMUNICATION. Most of the Sponsors listed would seem to be able to help improve these things. No Council should need seemingly endless permissions to work towards any of these goals.
Let us not stick at the "survey post" ....... rather get on with the job.

And I do applaud your motivation to be as fair and inclusive as possible.....It is just that we elected you to be able to make informed decisions as efficiently as possible with confidence.

______________________________________________________________________________

Thanks Dave. Appreciate the feedback. It is a fine line between too much and not enough engagement. We usually get criticism for not doing enough.

Cheers
Patty (Mayor of Squamish District)

_____________________________________________________________________________

And a further reply from a Council Employee:

Thanks for the feedback, and I do recognize that there is a level of engagement fatigue with regards to all of the programs and projects currently flowing through the District. If I may, I would like to share a few points with you from our perspective, for your consideration.

Modern principles of public engagement reflect the premise that better decisions are made when citizens who are affected by those decisions have input into the decision-making process. There has been a demand for greater transparency across all levels of government (and many private organizations and businesses too) in the last decade, and inviting citizens into the decision-making process is a way to increase that transparency and gather important feedback from those who will ultimately be affected. It is not a substitute for leadership, and is not about asking for permission, but rather a recognition that “collective wisdom” from a group of impacted stakeholders serves to make a better decision.

We do recognize that there can be engagement fatigue and burn-out among citizens, and this is also a comment on how busy our municipality currently is with the growth that we are experiencing. Some of our processes are legislated, i.e. around development applications and public hearings, and certainly there is an unprecedented volume of applications from the development community as demand for housing in Squamish has sky-rocketed in the last few years, due to market factors.

We are also just coming off a two-year massive project as we update the Official Community Plan, which has required extensive input from the community to ensure the plan reflects the wishes of the community as to how we all envision Squamish in the next 25 years.

(Just one note about the Smart Cities project that you commented on, this is a contest that is hosted by Infrastructure Canada, and a key element of the contest requires municipalities to demonstrate how their community has been involved in crafting a challenge-statement).

Again, thank you for your feedback and it serves as a good reminder to us that we need to consider community engagement fatigue as we approach new projects and opportunities.