Friday, December 14, 2018

A letter to our Squamish Council..."This and that"

To all Council members:

A couple of things for your ‘new’ Council:

  • Regarding curbside pick-ups of recycling etc. I am reading the latest Squamish Chief Newspaper which has a ‘revised’ page outlining what will be picked up, on what week, for 2019. I note that there is NO Kitchen waste/Garden waste pickup scheduled at any time on a weekly basis. All are bi-weekly.
This is a regression from last year. This is, in spite of recent correspondence between me and you. Last year we enjoyed (at least) weekly pick-ups of Garden waste/ Kitchen waste for most of the  spring/summer months until the end of October. I made a request that weekly pick-up might extend to November 30th. with the amendment that June and July could be bi- weekly to off-set the cost. YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED. Very sad!

  • Regarding the dangerous, ill-planned intersection at Lower Kintyre and The Boulevard, near the roundabout:
This is becoming extremely dangerous. To get out of Kintyre Drive to the Boulevard from 8:00 am to 9:00 am, it is becoming impossible unless you actually break the law and force entry (in other words it has become a “free for all”). With the present trend in development to the east, the situation can only get worse. We need this intersection redesigned. We also need a new access road to the University to reduce the bridge traffic and the feeder traffic mentioned above. This could easily be done by putting a road (a short road) from the Golf-Club to the new development just south of the Quest University.

In addition to this, I would like to comment on your recent statement in the media that you are not happy with the recycling behavior of our citizens regarding recycling in the totes. You state that, because of this laxed behavior, extra cost could be levied to the tax-payer to pay for these lapses, You also mention fines. I say that you should levy the fines, even heavy fines, before you raise the cost to the taxpayer. Do not be squeamish about this! Why should I pay for other’s transgression when you  can remedy it in advance?

I would like your reassurance that you will act according on this. I will await your reply (individually or collectively) before I expand debate on this in our local media.

Respectfully, Dave Colwell, Kintyre Drive , Garibaldi Highlands.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

On a recent controversial post on Facebook regarding the split in our First Nations Council support of Woodfibre LNG 

What we have to do here is separate 'Racism', 'Culture' and 'Politics'.. Racism is irrelevant. We are all mixed up. None of us should claim purity in race, which does not exist and probably hasn't since our emergence from Africa. 

Culture does, and for our local FN's and it is championed by Tsawaysia Spukwus .Well done Alice! 

Politics drives our Cultures apart. But then it drives any group apart a lot of the time. Then there is Education, Intelligence and Ignorance... These can heal, or in the latter case, destroy. 

History can fool us all. History, at worst, can be one of the greatest 'Scapegoats' which so many fall back on for support in their arguments.We should be very wary of this as it often disintegrates so much good. 

Some background:

Here is a summary of the Deal between Squamish FN and WLNG (click here)

And some random quotes:

"There was no consult with the members.....only a meeting where we were told we were lucky because this was the first time that the opportunity arises for us to be part of.....that we have a say as members in what was going to go on with LNG. We really did not have a say in whether or not it was going to happen....that it was going to happen"

"As I see it....publicly council said and acted like they where against the LNG happening.....and behind closed doors they did not listen to the community....saying no to LNG....and in the end they get into it. NOW HOPE THIS MEANS WE WILL HAVE A COMMUNITY REFERENDUM TO HAVE SOMETHING HAPPEN THAT WE WANT.....because it is all of our monies".

" Excuse me, but not ALL SN members had a say in this. Like your politicians, majority if the shit is just done behind everyone's back. So enough of the lumping all of the natives together like that."

"This was a split vote by Squamish Nation: 6 were opposed, 6 were supportive, 2 abstained (which counts as supportive), the chair expressed opposition but did not vote, and one was absent. 

The bigger issue here is that the Provincial government is yet again propping up a fossil fuel industry by gifting crown land and other money (yet to be disclosed) to Squamish Nation to entice them to accept this agreement. 

We respect Squamish Nation's decision - it was a difficult one, and we're sure that each band council member made their decision based on what they thought was best for their members. 

My Sea to Sky will continue to oppose Woodfibre LNG, we will continue to fight, and speak on behalf of the nearly 18,000 people that have signed the Howe Sound Declaration."

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Some comments on Universal Consciousness.

If we want to consider universal consciousness we need to think in terms of the simplest situation. We need a simple model.

Take a circular boundary. Draw a diameter and place two points on the line so that each is the same distance from the edge of the circle on either side. Imagine a ball of the same size, weight and density at each point. Imagine that each ball is fired toward the edge of the boundary at the same velocity. Each will bounce off the edge of the circular boundary following a similar trajectory and continue bouncing forever assuming there is no external influence (friction, gravity etc.)
The ‘fate’ and ‘experience’ of each ball will be the same at any point in time. For this we will assume that each ball is indestructible. Also, if we assume that each ball is capable of ‘consciousness’ and ‘data accumulation’ purely related to the situation, we have a simple model of duality….albeit perceived duality of consciousness in both space and time because the space for each ball is at the same time and in the same (perceived position) in relation to the boundary of the 2-dimensional space. ( Yes, the balls will collide if released at exactly the same time, so allow a split second difference...just don't be picky OK! If this were to happen, I guess it would be a momentary 'merging of the minds', which is a good thing sometimes :-))

However, if we bring in any other factors, the perception will vary for each ball to a degree related to the complexity of the applied factors.  But if we simply change the boundary to a sphere, we will have a three-dimensional space and the direction of the two trajectories can differ out of choice. The experience will be apparently the same however (to each ball). Change anything else and the experience will change…the two consciousness will diverge. As consciousness depends on data accumulation (memory).

So, in our Universe we have apparently different consciousnesses. But, where do these differences lie? I say that they merely depend on the external factors present in the time and space where the consciousness resides. We are only ‘different’ from each other because of these ‘additional factors.

Humans can move toward a duality by choice and we see this in close relationships (marriage, co-habitation etc.). Such situations reduce the changing ‘factors’ and so we come closer to the simplicity of consciousness. Long married couples claim similarity of thought and behavior. We also see this simplification in identical twins. Here is a very good example of a mirroring of some of the essence of duality. 

The ‘wedge’ which pushes duality apart is memory, our position in time and space and the multiplicity of mutating factors all around us.

Yes, we are all the same and are bound by the Universal Rules but our perception of this is clouded by the complexity around us.

But what when we die? Well we leave the consciousness we talked about here behind, but it remains in its collective form in degrees from the very simple to extremely complex and in the Universe it never dies. So, do we, actually? Remember that everything you do, say or write will still stay part of the shared consciousness you leave behind forever. Just you being changes everything and everyone's consciousness. Think of the 'Butterfly Flapping its wings' thing! And 'Change changes change'.

Please realize, I am not considering varied thought or behavior at the core of this, only awareness of being in its simplest form. Yes the former are driven in their variety by the genome but in this thesis, the awareness of being, albeit subject to a wide range of degree (and of course not exclusive to man) is a shared thing. I believe that it is possible to be conscious even when stripped of most senses. The sophistication of this would range from the simplest life forms to the most advanced….and where would you draw the line? Some would even extend this to the inanimate and further to the quantum level. All of life and all of the interactions in the Universe are merely chance interchanges and locations of energy/particles in space and time. In short, the Universe or Universes are a summation of possibilities. The Religious might say that God made these possibilities. Lots of fun! Time for a beer!😊 Perhaps Descartes 'would turn in his grave' regarding this!

Saturday, November 17, 2018


We all need to consider what is happening right now:

We have a world which is fast succumbing to Climate Change of which most   either are not aware, ignore  or over-ride. This is either a product of lack of education, ignorance or a blind quest for the ‘here and now’ to achieve short term prosperity. The latter is very much in evidence in the ‘well heeled’ countries of our world. In short…Greed!

There appears to be an elusive solution. We have a very short time to achieve a consciousness of this problem. Some say 12 years! Meanwhile the world is tipping toward the extreme ‘Right’ and History is looming to repetition.

We have had many destructive Conflicts/Wars in the past and we have rebuilt; indeed we have ”stood up, shook ourselves off and started all over again” but now things are very different. We are faced with the possibility of catastrophic world famine, health harming pollution, overcrowding and much, much worse.
The ‘Elder-awareness’ of History means little to the ‘Cell-phone-toting' youth. 

And the ‘Millennial's' seem to have a reputation (founded or not) of entitlement. We could say that all this seems bleak.

Let us hope that there will appear a light and the end of the tunnel…but we all should seek it! There is much technological knowledge presently accumulated in our archives which we must be prepared to use SOON!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A wee history of Capitalism in Squamish

In 1975 my wife and I had saved enough money to invest in some property. We went along to visit Pat Goode who was developing Garibaldi Highlands. He was giving 'options' on new properties there. We selected a lot and signed up but then he said we could have options on two or three more under a "Gentleman's Agreement" and not to have to even put down a deposit. Yes!...can you believe this?...Well it happened. We did not take him up on it but some of my friends did. And did they ever make a packet on the deals because he honoured it even two or three years later. We don't have those kind of people anymore.He was a "Gentleman". 
And he got the Highlands developed in an efficient and tasteful way. He called it "Painting on the Land". "Every property should have a view", he said and most did from his legacy.

 On Composting in Squamish and Garden Waste Disposal

Cedar in compost is undesirable. The resin in the cedar makes it smell nice, gives it resistance to decay, repels some insects (particularly fleas and moths), and has some allelopathic properties, not just to plants, but to the microbes in your compost heap. So far better to use deciduous leaves as the main ingredient. No good gardener will put cedar waste in their composters as a preference...I never do!

Regarding Waste disposal collection by the District of Squamish: It is all down to good habits really. We never have anything with any odour in our bins until an hour before pick-up. We compost correctly and freeze any smelly kitchen waste until the day of pick-up. We have never had the the contents of our totes or compost bins pulled out and spread over our lot. We have had a couple of empty ones knocked over by a curious bear several years ago. All recyclable food containers MUST be washed.

As for the schedule for Garden Waste pick-up:
Here is a pretty good run-down.....March/April are high season for clean-up in the garden. It tails off in May. June/July..not much...maybe some grass clippings. October/November...Leaves, leaves. 
I suggest that June and July be Bi-weekly and all the rest  including March to the end of November be Weekly....Result no extra cost to home owners. 
The District should have extended the garden Waste pick-up to Dec 1st.


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 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 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 ( ) 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.