Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Hollow Tree Has 150 Days

Awhile back I posted about the famous Stanley Park Hollow Tree being cut down.

Well it appears that enough people brought enough attention to the Hollow Tree getting the axe, that the parks board has decided to delay that by 150 days to further evaluate options and determine whether or not they can keep the tree standing.

What gets me a little irked is how the decision to cut down 70 trees at Queen Elizabeth park is lumped in there with this news. They take a little bit of good news that has more focus to try to offset the fact that they’re taking down 70 perfectly fine trees.

The Vancouver City Parks board or whichever one makes these final decisions really needs more spotlight to keep them accountable in my opinion.

More on the hollow tree. 

The Griffiths Way

There are many families with deep-rooted histories in Vancouver but none other has represented hockey since the Patrick brothers like the Griffiths.

The patriarch of the family was Frank Griffths who was a media mogul in BC being associated with and acquiring radio and TV stations around Vancouver over several decades. In 1974 he bought the Vancouver Canucks, which the family held on to dearly until 1997. After being inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992, Frank Griffiths passed away during the 1994 hockey season. In his honor, the Canucks wore patches on their jerseys for the remainder of the season, “2Pts FG” which meant “two points for Frank Griffiths,” a term he liked to use instead of calling a win.

Photo Credit: squeakymarmot on Flickr

Frank’s son Arthur was involved with the team since 1988 and financed GM Place in 1995, moving the team from the Pacific Coliseum to its new home. He eventually sold the team in 1996 but remained involved in Vancouver’s business and sporting scene, being a supporter of an Olympic bid for years.

Tomorrow it is reported that Arthur will announce he’ll be running as a candidate for the BC Liberal Party.

Griffiths is expected to run in the newly created Vancouver West End Riding. The official announcement is set for Tuesday morning in the West End of Vancouver. [News1130]

Although deals made throughout the years may not have been crowd favourites, and our NBA team failed miserably, I still like to share stories about families that helped build business and hockey dreams in this city. Hopefully anyone now driving down near GM Place or BC Place will note Griffiths Way and know of its significance.

Tourist Trapped Town

Tourism is the number one industry in these parts, which isn’t a bad thing at all, however some of the hot-spot destinations on the old fashioned trolley tour often leave locals shaking their heads wondering what the appeal could possibly be for a steam clock that no longer even operates on steam?

Photo Credit: SqueakyMarmot on Flickr

This morning while listening to the lovely Jeff O’Neil radio program on CFOX they mentioned an article on featuring the top 15 worst tourist traps in the world. Here are the top (worst) places in North America from that list:

  1. San Francisco: Fisherman’s Wharf
  2. Chicago: Sears Tower
  3. Washington, D.C.: International Spy Museum
  4. Las Vegas: Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay
  5. New York City: Times Square
  6. Seattle: Experience Music Project
  7. Boston: Faneuil Hall Marketplace
  8. Los Angeles: Hollywood
  9. Orlando: Animal Kingdom
  10. Chicago: Navy Pier
  11. Las Vegas: Stratosphere Tower

Another quick Google search lead me to CNN’s list compiled last summer of the most “disappointing sites” around the world:

  1. The Eiffel Tower, Paris
  2. The Louvre, Paris
  3. Times Square, New York
  4. Las Ramblas, Barcelona
  5. Statue of Liberty, New York
  6. Spanish Steps, Rome
  7. The White House, Washington DC
  8. The Pyramids, Egypt
  9. The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
  10. The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Let’s say there was a “top ten worst tourist traps” for Vancouver, which would you pick? I already stated one of my preferences for such a title in the first paragraph but I’m certain there are others.

The old trolleybuses are gone

Regular operation of the 1982-1984 built Flyer E901A/902 trolley coaches ceased shortly after midnight on Saturday April 19 2008.


20,800 flushes can’t be wrong

Automatic public toilet

The CBC is reporting that the City has decided to install more of the automatic public toilets provided and maintained by CBS Decaux.

“Although the toilets have been criticized as smelly havens for drug users and homeless people,” – who by? How can they be havens when they cannot be occupied for more than 12 minutes? Since they clean themselves, as well as getting a cleaning crew visit 4 times a day, they are not smelly either. And how is it that what works in other cities can never be accepted here?

There is a desperate shortage of public facilities in this city, especially downtown. And the constant harping on about street people should not be an excuse for never doing anything for the rest of the population.

Tartan Day in Vancouver

Theme days are all around us it seems, from wearing pink, red, black, and denim there’s always a good cause to support. It just so happens that Vancouverites will be encouraged to show solidarity in a slightly different manner this Sunday.

Vancouver’s lads and lassies have until Sunday to press their kilts and dust off their sporans for the city’s first official Tartan Day. Council will declare today that Vancouver is joining a long list of cities around the world that celebrate their Scottish roots on April 6. [The Province]

Photo Credit: Roland Tanglao on Flickr

The Tartan Day campaign is being spearheaded by Todd Wong who is responsible for the local and inter-cultural Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinners. GHFC has been taking place for the last 10 years and it brings together the Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Day.

I’m not sure I own anything tartan (do some funky argyle socks count?), and I have a sneaking suspicion it may turn into “dress like a naught school girl day”, but I think Vancouverites will embrace this new tradition in the making.

It has been a strange week in Vancouver


and I don’t just mean the weather. Quite unexpectedly, after an overcrowded protest meeting in Pitt Meadows, BC Environment Minister Barry Penner announced that there would be no transmission lines in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park. This put paid to a series of proposed run of the river hydro projects on the Upper Pitt river, and was widely applauded, except, of course, by its proponent. But if you thought that might indicate a change of direction in Victoria, you would be wrong. Equally controversial, and almost as unpopular was the province’s decision to use park land to settle an aboriginal land claim. Though this was a regional park and not a provincial park, the Metro Vancouver directors were not pleased to learn that they could do nothing. And not because the use of park land seemed to violate an earlier promise by the premier (we have all given up expecting him to keep his word) but the absence of any compensation.

We also learned this week that the Ministry of Transportation has responded to all those comments on the Environmental Assessment of the Port Mann twinning Highway #1 expansion. They did that in December, but kept quiet about it. No doubt because they had actually not responded at all, simply repeated stuff from the original submission. But the whole premise of the Gateway now seems to be in doubt as the US economy has tipped into recession, and railways, truckers and ports are all reporting a decline trade. Not in BC of course. In the US – whose trade we were supposed to be taking a bigger share of in the future. I don’t think so, Kevin

24 Hours of poor design choices


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

I know it’s a thing that’s done fairly regularly by all sorts of papers, including ones with award winning design like The Globe and Mail, but can’t we all just agree that the front page banner headline over top of a completely unrelated photograph is kind of terrible?

Walking past a 24 Hours [24h] box on the street you see the headline “Child drug mules” in large bold letters and then below it a picture of the new Vancouver Canadians logo. Our local semi-pro baseball team is running a ring of child drug mules? What?

If I were the Canadians’ press officer I’d be pretty annoyed by the implied association. Of course the argument is that there is no implied association intended, but with design like this how can it be helped?

I know I know. They have this nice picture of the new logo, but gosh they want readers to know that there are underaged drug mules somehow destroying the city, so what can they do? Make a rational editorial choice?

Hells no.

Put at least one of the stories in the feature boxes at the top? Well then how will they advertise the fact that they know who that Scarlett Johansson is maybe (or maybe not) marrying?

Some people just shouldn’t be allowed near Quark, let alone InDesign.

Fatal shootings are now only news worthy when Keanu Reeves is involved

Gotham Restaurant – 1933

Originally uploaded by Bob_2006.

I suppose it’s a comment on life in big cities across North America that the recent shooting at Gotham got little attention outside of the lower mainland. Gang related shootings have been all too common, and Vancouver has grown to be a bit of a hot bed of that in recent years. So much so that we got a Sopranos like CBC drama about it awhile back [mbv]. It’s not limited to Vancouver, across British Columbia there’s the Hell’s Angels that also deal in violence. We’ve pretty much come to accept the fact that people get murdered fairly regularly.

In fact it seems that the most interesting thing about the Gotham shooting is that Keanu Reeves was in the restaurant at the time [gm].

As a little bit of meta-blogging here I’d like to point out that I was just about to name the movie that Reeves is in town filming [vp], as if that’s a more important fact than two people were shot dead. To be honest I probably would not even be blogging about this had a Hollywood star not been involved.

That’s wrong and disgusting isn’t it?

Mega Man parody video outrages a nation

From Wired’s Game | Life blog [wm]:

Recently appearing on YouTube was this pardoy of the classic video game Mega Man, where Mega Man runs through Vancouver Airport and then tasers Robert Dziekanski to death. Of course the RCMP are outraged, as is pretty much everyone else despite the fact that the creator Mike Greenway is saying it’s a statement on taser use by police as opposed to making fun of the recent death at YVR of Dziekanski.

I find it hard to be more outraged by a video game parody than I am at the actual death. However whether or not this will be at all useful for getting the public to demand the use of tasers in police procedure be reviewed will be for history to decide.

Edit: Thanks to Andrew for pointing out my spectacular spelling mistake in the title.

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