Thursday, August 11, 2011

A slothful judiciary in British Columbia does little for public confidence

Monday the 8th August 2011 saw some of the worst public disorder in London's history. By Thursday 11th August 2011 arrests exceeded 900, the London Courts are sitting 24 hours a day and already many of London's worst thugs are doing time for a senseless crime against London. Canadian law enforcement agencies, particularly here in British Columbia - to be specific the Vancouver Police Department, must be looking on in awe, green with judicial envy.

Vancouver's Stanley Cup abomination in the streets around the downtown happened so long ago that I have already forgotten the score. What I have not forgotten is the brilliant and brave work of the VPD, assisted by hundreds of caring citizens.

It is an old and worn out complaint, but where the "F" is our judiciary. Where the hell are the courts? We know where the thieves, vandals and thugs are. They are enjoying another summer, in the full knowledge that BC's courts, in their sloth and almost meaningless existence will do little or nothing to see to it that vandals, like any other criminals should be made to pay, and pay severely, for senseless crimes against their communities.

In London, by contrast, the London loafers and thieves are already on their way to Her Majesty's facilities where, I suspect, they will find that even the general population in Britain's prisons may have the welcome mat out (in the worst possible way). 

Next year let's send BC's judges to Britain for Summer Camp - "How to Treat a Criminal the Old Fashioned Way 101"

Sunday, August 07, 2011

What do you mean my head is in the clouds?

The role of sports in community building


It is hard to imagine a human activity that does more for binding and building communities than sport; whether it is the World Cup in Cape Town, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver or the Tour de France, or the PGA.

Every Sunday morning in the summer we show up at Merkely Park as we have done for many, many years. We run around for an hour or more, have a beverage and laugh afterwards and then go home, already looking forward to the next Sunday. Many will agree that Sunday mornings is 'where its at'.

Photo: Don Waite, Maple Ridge, July 2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

There are no candidates living in the woodwork anymore

Some people say on the street and here and there that we will see as many as 30 candidates on the ballot for Maple Ridge Council this year. That is fantastic as it will doubtless (one hopes) attract more voters.

Also on the street we hear - as we do every time that Maple Ridge goes to the polls - that we need new faces and voices (ears?) on council. And each year we see a ton of familiar faces elected - same voices, same ears.

The big, big question is always agricultural land and how it is used, or abused.

Driving along the connector this glorious warm and still evening from Pitt Meadows towards Maple Ridge to our north across a matrix of small farms and sheer green, as sweeps up elegantly toward the foothills and the Golden Ears, majestic against a darkening sky I had to ask myself if I would be prepared to allow any development on what lay before me. The answer was 'no'.

Looking south from the connector toward Maple Ridge around Laity and 216th I contemplated allowing homes and subdivisions all down to the connector, east and west. Probably would, slowly, over time. Simple: north of the connector remains as it is, south of the connector, let the developers and the ALC duke it out.

With only 15% of our land in the ALC, we need to protect that tiny asset. It is not a matter of farming or soil testing or farm receipts, the economy or the future of the planet. It is just too damn pretty to give up.

It is so, so important to stay focussed on the brown fields development in Maple Ridge, wherever we can find it. My money is on the downtown. Tons of opportunities for savvy investors, developers and realtors, right in the heart of Maple Ridge. The evidence that some have seen this opportunity is obvious. Hogarth is just one of them. Others will follow suit.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The circling candidates

Who knows when a political campaign starts. Did the Andrup campaign begin when this blog was launched in 2005? Perhaps. It certainly hosts many, many political comments.

I drafted the first all-candidates for my 2011 campaign in October 2010 - some 11 months ago. My bet is that many others have done the same. There is something to be said for not making one's intentions known too soo. That strategy seems to be what candidates in Maple Ridge use a lot. Newbies like me, are tempted to get out there as soon as possible with our ideas and plans. That could be a mistake. Time will tell.

Yesterday I created a Facebook page called simply MapleRidgeMatters (a double entendre of sorts) and I also kicked off a new Twitter account called @RidgeMatters (shortened by rules at Twitter).

No matter how many social networks or websites you have, we are all agreed that nothing beats pressing the flesh and exchanging views with voters, and that is my aim. There are some 24,000 households in Maple Ridge - that's a few days work for sure. But I have a plan - I think.