Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to All - From Weatherhaven

Merry Christmas to All - From Weatherhaven

Elizabeth James Posts In

Further to this morning's item on the Carnegie Centre, following is Liz James', local activist, email:

24 December 2007

Dear Mr. Ridge:

For both you, your colleague Ms. Forbes-Roberts, and myself, I sincerely regret the need to send this message out on Christmas Eve. However, politics and bureaucracy appear to have little respect for the season - this one or any other.

The Grinch, it seems, has struck at the heart of the Carnegie Centre.
To be up front - the websites and blogs in question have not been my usual internet stamping ground, but that's beside the point. Christmas Eve, or any other day in this extended "season of goodwill", is not the time to make the City's point. This is especially so in the case of an administration that makes much politically hay out of actually caring about the homeless people on its streets.

So, to any and all Grinches who may have played a part in the decision to bar William Simpson from the Centre, and to prevent him from taking his democratically-elected seat at Board Meetings, merely for having the temerity to disagree with your management style - shame on you.

You have confirmed that the dark side of the world Charles Dickens wrote of so eloquently is alive and thriving on the streets of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Elizabeth James
Box 16090, RPO Lynn Valley,
V7J 3S9



It has happened again. On two occasions I have posted a note on your blog criticizing Kim Capri.

On both occasions, a defender has posted a comment attacking you for my thoughts. Clearly this person (a) doesn't understand how blogs work, (b) doesn't understand politics (c) is a slow reader. I
can only conclude this guy is a relative of Kim's, perhaps a dim-witted cousin through an incestuous marriage, like the characters in the movie Deliverance.

So, I invite Mr. Deliverance to move his finger slowly across the print while I explain.

First. blogs are public forum for comment, part of a legacy stretching back to graffiti in ancient Greece and broadsheets in Elizabethan times. People in the 17th century didn't attack the boys who pasted the broadsheets to the wall. Likewise, we don't attack the blogger for posted comments.

Second, politicians are criticized when they make stupid comments. It's part of the game, in BC particularly. Premiers Vander Zalm, Harcourt and Clark were hounded out of office by vigourous media criticism. So was Kim Campbell. All of these people have considerable intellectual acumen.
By comparison, Kim Capri has the intellectual depth of a dust bunny and her typical comments are just as fluffy. It is not misogyny (Mr. Deliverance spelled it wrong) to point this out any more than it's "anti-male" to describe Larry Campbell as a drunken bully. In both cases, it's an opinion of a politician based on observation.

In the spirit of the season I propose a truce. I will cease commenting on Ms. Capri's stupid comments if she agrees to stop making them. If this doesn't work and I post another comment, it is hoped Mr. Deliverance won't attack David for my opinions.

I can hear the banjo strumming Silent Night.

Oscar Peterson Dead at 82

He was a very young 24, when producer Norman Granz was in a taxi heading for the Montreal airport to head back to New York.

Granz asked the cabbie who was playing the piano on the radio.

He quickly had the cabbie turn around and head back to town.

The next thing the world knew, Oscar Peterson was playing on the stage at Carnegie Hall.

Not long afterwards, Oscar was playing in a club and Art Tatum came in. Oscar, having worshipped and adored Tatum since forever, froze. Couldn't play a note.

Tatum came to the lip of the band stand and said, "Oscar, just play!"

And, until very recently, that's exactly what Oscar has been doing - magnificently, thrillingly.

When I was a teen, my mother (May she rest in peace.) and I were watching Oscar play live on the Ed Sullivan Show. With tears in her eyes, my mom (not a bad Sunday player herself) said, "David, Bach would have loved this!"

I was so blessed to grow up around that kind of sensibility.

Norman Granz became, among many, many other things in jazz, the agent for Ella and Oscar at the same time. How's that for a little talent pool?

Below is one of his typically inventive in-the-moment highly complex, structured and beautiful pieces.

Thank God for the modern technologies that have captured these sounds and hold them for us.

Oscar Peterson -The Quartet Live feat.Joe Pas-Soft Winds

Some Great Christmas Noodling

"The Povertarians"

We've been caling them "poverty pimps "for years now.

Those righteous enabling fools who pull down six figure salaries and benefits from various levels of government and pretend to be helping the poor, while making damn sure that nothing ever changes.

But in a marvelous and very funny column in the Sun this morning, Miro Cernetig introduces us to a man who on the Board of Directors of the Carnegie Centre but who is not allowed in the Centre because he disagrees with management.

This is the story of the DTES in a nutshell. You must read it to fully understand the waste and autocracy and hypocrisy of the culture that has been built there over the years.

Remember that there is no 4 block jurisdiction on earth with more money or more social programs than the DTES, which continues to be a fetid open sore.

Foreign Raid

The US has spent over $5 Billion on arms aid to Pakistan, thinking the cash would go to fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Of course, most of the money went to fighting India.



Read about this debacle here.

America is a country without health care for 45 Million citizens.

Mel Torme - The Christmas Song


Hello David -

We read your article in the Province with regards to the Ruttan's crusade on assisting the young drug users in the B.C. area.

Our grandson, now 21 and a user of controlled substance since he was 14 finally asked for help and was very fortunate to have been selected for the Portage program in Quebec. The Vancouver Coastal Health has sponsored his treatment. He has been with Portage since May 1 of this year. We are proud to say that he has successfully completed his first faze of the treatment.

We personally feel that his success is totally the result of those caring individuals like the Ruttan's and the wonderful councillors that are there for these young troubled individuals 24/7. But of course, we must not forget that the individaul must want to be helped.

We are flying to Montreal next week for his well earned congratulations and be a part of the Bye-Bye ceremony, as it is called when this section of treatment is over. As we quote the words of the Councillors at Portage " this intelligent young man with limitless potential has every chance of becoming a useful member of society". Like the Ruttan's we would not give up either. We were informed by our grandson of the treatment center to start up in Keremeos in 2008 but did not know who to give the credit to until we read your article.

We send our congratulations to all those involved with this undertaking. Yes, this is the route to take and not the free handout of drugs, pipes and needles.

Our sincere thanksMolly & Barney Ziola (Grandparents)Tamara Ziola (Mother)