Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This is the song that never ends

It struck me last week as I walked by Northumberland Court, mesmerized at the sight of a vagrant's head bobbing up and down from within the blue waste bin, that there was little doubt - public safety acknowledged - that a healthy fire at Northumberland Court would greatly benefit the cause of both Jack Athwal and the District Of Maple Ridge. A battalion of lawyers, accountants insurance underwriters, District staff directed (for want of a better term), barristers and the Supreme Court of British Columbia, could then engage the community in yet another 5 years of ineptitude. The whole Northumberland Court affair has now reach comedic levels.

Oh yes, the guy in the blue waste bin? He was busy dealing drugs. This only became evident as his clients scrambled out of the bin. Northumberland Court lives. While the downtown perishes. Thus now, as it ever was.

Radio Haney (Dumpster Diving Department)

On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 6:20 PM, tyler ducharme  wrote:
Hi Monisha:  My apologizes on not being in good form for our conversation.  I put this together after we spoke and I went for a walk down in the area.  I sent it to the letters section as well but thought you might be able to use your pull to get it in.  As well I wanted to attach the photo as a reminder.

Claus Andrup took then photo I don't think he will mind your paper using it.

Tyler - letter below

It was the stench that really brought things home for me. When news spread in the neighbourhood of yet another fire at Northumberland Court all I found myself doing was shrugging my shoulders with the thought of ' ...really .... can't say I'm surprised'. But once down there in the complex and getting a full whiff of what can only be described as one of the sorriest examples of leadership by Maple Ridge city hall it got me thinking of the photo that adorned the now defunct community website which showed off the art work in the area with a mural that read 'welcome to hell'. It was at that point I realized that the idea of hell was not just one area that the powers that be choose to neglect and allow to be abused by one land lord no one has the willingness to hold to account. I realized that hell was a system that allowed this abuse to not just go on, but be willingly perpetuated. Report after report, deadline after deadline, excuse after excuse the charade goes on. Now get ready for a flash back to 2005 when a similar fire that gutted a building a different building at Northumberland Court. That fire and the subsequent battle went on for years which raises the question how long is the most recent fire and subsequent battle going to take? Given that the same players that were present in 2005 are the same players that are present right now to 'deal' with the situation I think it would be prudent to find and re-commission that artist because there is little doubt given how the current (and former) council and staff have dealt with this issue that hell is, sadly, once again around the corner.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Northumberland Court heads to court

This will be the last update from MRCC.

As things stand the city has put forward various motions in council chambers in an attempt to clean up Northumberland Court. Whether they follow through with these motions is another story all together, but this is their choice. Community members can still exert influence should they wish, but at the end of the day if council and senior staff chose not to follow their own directives the only option is civil court and that is hardly an option given the cost and complexities of court.

Outstanding items as a result of motions in council are as follows:

1. Business license suspension – This was passed in council chambers as a motion but is still not being enforced.

2. Remedial repairs – The repairs were all passed as a series of motions but to date the city still has not complied with their directive, nor has there been a discussion as to whether this is the best use of city funds.

Both of these items were passed roughly nine months ago so whether they will ever be fully honoured remains up in the air. Only the director of bylaws, Brock McDonald, can say whether these motions will be completed and in what time frame.

As it stands it is much more quiet in and around Northumberland Court. Compared to the last few years there is certainly much in the way of improvement when it comes to safety, but this comparison is based on a complex that had hundreds of police calls per year and numerous instances with the tactical squad being called out in full gear to perform a raid.

Thanks to everyone that took the time to get involved whether it was a phone call, an email, showing up at city hall or at a community meeting, as well thanks to the Maple Ridge Times and Maple Ridge News for keeping this story in the papers. City hall ignored this issue for years and that is how it got to such a state. This type of advocacy and community based pressure is what told city hall they could not willingly ignore this issue any longer. Hopefully going forward city hall will live up to their quotes in the papers, as well as the tough talk in council chambers and get this situation cleaned up for the long term. Even more hope should be pinned on the idea that they learned something during all these years and don't allow such a situation to happen again.

Once again thanks to everyone for their time and effort.


The decline of the downtown core goes unabated. If it takes so many years, and so much effort from the community to fix this one problem, then it seems unlikely the eventual revitalization of downtown Maple Ridge will come about other than through the passage of time. 

Many, many Mayors, councils and senior management will come and go, passing the baton of banality and ennui from one to the next while time, the District's only dependable planner, will see to it that everything, perhaps, works out for the best in the end. 

This weekend past Radio Haney took a walk along the horse trails on Thornhill, and marveled at the Valley in this fresh December snow. For a brief  moment, surrounded by trees, snow and quietude, all seemed fair in Maple Ridge. And then it struck us that if the District continues its subdivision by division rape of what little is left of the natural environment in this municipality, it won't be long before where we stood was likely in someone's future off-the-shelf, dreadful living room or deck. A living room or deck that would be replicated all along the ridge of this forest to Mission. 

The hell with it, I thought, I 'll just enjoy it now for what it is, a gift this winter's day. If our leaders think so little, and know so little, of this green space, why should I care?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Western Wind Energy generates interest on Wall Street

Western Wind Energy Corp
Shares Issued47,542,397
Close 2009-12-08C$ 1.47
Recent Sedar Documents

Western Wind says new plant drives its shares up

2009-12-09 13:53 ET - News Release
Mr. Jeffrey Ciachurski reports
Western Wind Energy Corp. has confirmed to its shareholders and the investing public the reasons behind the increase in both the volume and price of the common shares of Western Wind Energy.
On Dec. 4, 2009, Western Wind became aware that Pacific Gas and Electric, one of the largest investor-owned utilities in the United States, is seeking to purchase and complete a 246-megawatt development wind project in Tehachapi, Cali., for $900-million (U.S.). This public news release was posted at the Pacific Gas's website on Dec. 3.
As well, on Dec. 4, 2009, the investment banking firm of Loewen, Ondaatje McCutcheon of Toronto prepared a share valuation update on Western Wind based around the Pacific Gas acquisition of the wind park in Tehachapi. This report can be viewed through Loewen at its website or by contacting Lawrence Casse.
On Dec. 4, 2009, Jeff Siegel, a prominent renewable energy analyst in the U.S., appeared on the national television show Fox Business Network, which is broadcast around the entire U.S., stating that Western Wind was his No. 1 choice in the wind energy sector.
We seek Safe Harbor.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Jeffreys Bay - Mecca

In simpler times 1966

Someone found this pic of us checking the surf conditions at Roeberg in 1966.

Left to right: Unknown, Clive Barber, Andy Spengler, Claus "Bosco" Andrup