Sunday, March 11, 2007


With considerable regret, I tell you all and sundry that I cannot perform the role of Claudius in the upcoming production of "Hamlet," scheduled for the Jericho Arts Centre May 11-26.

I am beginning a new job on April 1st (Community Liason for Langara College), about which I am very excited and enthusiastic, and the rehearsal schedule for the Shakespeare was impossible to mesh with my new responsibilities.

C'est la vie!

To Irina and all the cast of "Hamlet," I say, "Break a leg!"

To all else, go see it and support independent theatre in Our Town.

Madness in the 'Hood

Kam & Kim Poon and their son have been serving great coffee and delicious bird's nest cookies to regulars at 14th and Granville since '95.

Their landlord is a Prince Among Princes named Bao Pham. Mr. Pham recently evicted the SOMA Cafe near Main & Broadway to open his own shop. Now he is evicting the Poons from their Bean Around the World.

Wait. Mr. Pham isn't totally heartless. He did offer to let these folks stay on, with a small caveat - a rent raise from $7,000 to $9,000/month. Hey, it's only 29%.

Mr. Pham hasn't yet decided if he'll just expand Caffe Barney, which is next door, or if he'll take over the Poon's Bean Around the World.

O.K. There's still good news and bad news.

The good news is the Poon family has found a new location up the street at 3007 Granville St. The bad news is they can't take the "Bean Around the World" name with them. Such is the life of a franchisee.

Now, I'm confident that the Poon family is going to do just fine, thank you very much. They have a regular following and the change in location is all of about 100 feet.

BUT. Is this how City Hall and our exalted Mayor work on the "Civil City?" Is this how we facilitate small business, which is often the backbone of our tax base?


How Governments Spend Your Money

Yahoo News:
Polar bears, sea ice and global warming are taboo subjects, at least in public, for some U.S. scientists attending meetings abroad, environmental groups and a top federal wildlife official said on Thursday.[..]

The matter came to light in e-mails from the Fish and Wildlife Service that were distributed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Center for Biological Diversity, both environmental groups.

Listed as a "new requirement" for foreign travelers on U.S. government business, the memo says that requests for foreign travel "involving or potentially involving climate change, sea ice, and/or polar bears" require special handling, including notice of who will be the official spokesman for the trip.[..]

Two accompanying memos were offered as examples of these kinds of assurance. Both included the line that the traveler "understands the administration's position on climate change, polar bears, and sea ice and will not be speaking on or responding to these issues.

This tale, taken from Crooks and Liars and Yahoo News, is now being re-worked as a spectacular Broadway musical called, "Polar Bear Blues." Chris Rock, Kid Rock and The Rockettes have signed on.