Thursday, September 6, 2007


Moscow has one coffeehouse for every 3,187 people. For comparison, New York has one for every 365 people and Paris one for every 126 people.

This gem comes from the afternoon update of the NY Times, announcing the opening of a certain Seattle -based coffee house in Russia.

Canada Line Ruptures Ongoing: Guest Blog

Sun Editor

The 'interesting conversation' that CEO of Canada Line Jane Bird should behaving, is the one about justice and the Charter of Rights. And while we're at it - bullies.Ms. Bird is well paid to say that it's perfectly fine to expect families to lose their businesses and life savings through no fault of their own, so that this unprecedented government driven mega-project can be built to the government's agenda. No concern whatsoever for the consequences of blatantly presenting one project and building another. No responsibility for neglecting to implement financial help for the merchants from the start. The devastating impacts of this open canyon construction are a predictable and well documented death knell for small businesses. No accountability, no consultation and an emphatic no to deserved compensation.What rubbish. This is a democracy. Governments are not permitted to destroy our businesses, pave over our rights and toss us into financial ruin with impunity. For Canada Line to suggest that as a society, we find this acceptable, or a topic of debate, is shocking. There will most certainly be a public inquiry that will dig into this cut-and-cover-up, and we'll all find out what circumstances drove "on time", and what "on budget" really means for the tax paying public.Canada Line and all levels of government who have brought this unconscionable financial disaster to our doors have a lot to answer for. The merchants have been double-crossed. Ms. Bird's callous comments are a further slap in the face to all citizens, especially the struggling families along the RAV/Canada Line route, and are not based in reality.This is not disruption to our livelihoods, as the project spin machine keeps repeating - it's highway robbery.This is a unique project and it requires a unique solution. Let's stop thisnonesense. The Provincial Liberal government needs to do the obvious right thing, and implement compensation now.

Susan Heyes

Guest Blogger Victor on the City That Won't be Quiet

I always admired the way Johnny Carson retired.

He entertained us for 30 years, said "Thank you; it's been a pleasure," and stepped away from the lights.

A lesson clearly missed by Mike Harcourt, Jerry Lewis, Rafe Mair and others.

Guest blogger, Victor, rants on the City that won't shut up. This is followed, irony upon irony, by an invite I was sent moments later:


Globe and Mail columnist Ian Brown once wrote a spoof booklet called " A Wanker's Guide to Canada". It was for those Canadians who needed something, anything to brag about in order to shore up their inferiority.

We need a special edition for Vancouver. This city takes civic wanking to ludicrous lows.

The latest example is Harcourt's book, " City Planning in Paradise". Why do we feel the need to use these sophomoric superlatives in referring to our city?

We used to loathe Toronto for being self-absorbed but Vancouver has become an urban tampon.

Every award given to Vancouver, no matter how obscure the source (Madrid Welders Association Rates Vancouver the Top Vacation Spot) gets front page treatment. Like the chronically insecure teenager, Vancouver covets and trumpets the most tenuous praise and if none is forthcoming, it praises itself.

But in fairness, wanking has become a provincial pattern. How else can we explain that modest license plate that proclaims that BC is "The Best Place on Earth"? Even the most boastful Texan stopped short of such graceless egotism. I guess we can expect that during the Olympics , we'll have a banner at the airport saying " Welcome all of you travelers from inferior countries".


Event Info
The Paradise Makers
Interviews with the leaders and decision-makers who shaped the city and region we know today
Gordon Price
Education - Lecture
Time and Place
Friday, September 7, 2007
7:00pm - 8:40pm
SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street, Segal Centre
Vancouver, BC

Can you believe I will miss this?

In La-La-Land, Everything's Just Got to be FUN

In criticizing Education Minister (The name is Bond.) Shirley Bond, the Sun editorial reveals that at the deepest level it is singing from the exact same hymn book.

Let's make exercise "fun," says the editorial.

Let's not do anything to the students that would make them uncomfortable, says the Minister.

Go forbid the students under the immense pressure of living at home and talking on their cells and text messaging during class and flying around the world on holidays and not paying a mortgage or doing laundry or cooking...under all that pressure, god forbid they should be TOLD to do anything that isn't FUN.

Because, as we all know that is a perfect training for the real world which is just one big fun after another.

The Corruptions of Richmond Just Go On

In examining the strike, the Sun has focused on whistle blowers today, in particular the case of Mario Ferriera.

Ferriera reported fraudulent billing, misuse of city credit cards and theft of city property when he worked for the City of Richmond.

Rather than applaud and reward this courageous man and/or truly investigate his charges, Mayor Malcolm Brodie and City (mis)Manager George Duncan did everything in their power to discredit and ruin the poor guy.

I challenged both of these dishonorable men on the radio repeatedly and I wrote about them extensively in the Georgia Straight.

In spite of all the evidence, both continue to enjoy the favor of the ignorant and uncommitted Richmond voters.

And so it goes.

Thompson Run a Travesty

The entry of Fred Thompson into the republican race for the presidency says way too much about people and politics and pool.

Without having said a single thing about policy or programs, Thompson is already in second place in public polling. Which tells us that people are blind and stupid, that fame is the name of the game and that any one-trick pony with a TV show can end up in the White House.

Let us hope and pray that this clown's ride crashes long before he gets near the Beltway.


He was the greatest tenor of the times.

And like many a "big" man, he was an enigma and a walking contradiction.

He seemed to me to have fallen prey to that strange, rare disease that afflicts only a few in every era: the Mega-SuperStar Syndrome. In our recent lifetime, Liz Taylor, Michael Jackson and maybe Liza Minelli fit this category. The person is so famous, so waited on, so adored, so wealthy that he/she becomes delusional, insane, filled with a repetoire of fake and inhuman gestures.

I was the M.C. at the Three Tenors concert here at B.C. Place. The night was a fiasco, and Pavarotti was crazy and utterly selfish and completely disdaining of the public that gave him a one million dollar take home for that one night.

Now...lest we speak too harshly of the diseased...he was an awesomely great, great singer. His La Boheme performance played on PBS brought millions of new fans to the world of Opera. He was a teacher and in many ways gave of himself, especially to young musicians.

We have all been blessed to have been around to hear him and watch him.

For the best and most comprehensive coverage of his life and death, including a video of his singing Nessum Dorma, click here to the NY Times link.