Friday, November 28, 2008

Buy Nothing Day

It warmed my heart today to walk into the Thirsty Camel downtown, for a quick lunch before a haircut and library trip, and be told by Ilan that he was refusing to take money today because it was Buy Nothing Day. In an effort to further awareness of the absurd over-consumptive nature of our society, Ilan suggested a trade for food today. He simply asked that you offer something of equal personal significance for the meal you received.

At first I was really uncomfortable, wondering if it would be fair to exchange a yet to be determined IOU for food? What could I give him of equal value? After all, his food is kick ass. I would go so far as to say his food is the best in Nanaimo! (!!)

We ended up writing our IOU's with promises of a book (one from my previous posting), some baking and the offer of labour in a variety of ways if he needs it. Carpentry skills, gardening, moving help... whatever he needs. 

I suppose the idea isn't that the trade is "equal" so much as the importance of the actual nature of the transaction. There was thought put into our offer and there was an even greater appreciation for the meals we ate.

We don't buy a lot, especially at this upcoming time of year. We don't give gifts at all in fact. My kids might receive a gift or two from family members who refuse to take a different approach but the holiday time is spent enjoying each other's company and doing things together with family and friends. This approach isn't limited to the few times of year on recognised holiday's. This is a year round approach and one that seems most sensible.

Ilan is a good person. We are all lucky to have someone like this in our community.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What are you reading?

I like to read- a lot. I was thinking about making a post last week about books I've been enjoying this month. I was thinking about it again yesterday noticing how perfect the day was to stay in a read with it's gloomy fog.

This month I've read:
The Order of Good Cheer by Bill Gaston

Wow. I really enjoyed this book. The author lives here on Vancouver Island and the book takes place in both contemporary Prince Rupert and the early 1600's in Nova Scotia with Samuel Champlain. 

Into The Wilderness by Sara Donati

Okay, I'll admit that I've read this book more times than I can count. It's the first of a series and I enjoy them each time they are read. It seems this month has taken me to reading history novels because this book takes place in New York (?) in the late 1700's. It's a story about an English woman coming to live in the wild with her family and meeting and falling for a white man who was raised as a Native. It seems to be a continuation of the story told in the Last of The Mohicans. The leading man in this book is the son of Dan'l and Cora Bonner. 

I often re read books, in part because I'll finish a book and not have a new one to start and in part because I enjoyed a book enough to warrant reading it a second, third, fourth... time. I've started re reading this next book last night:

A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is a joy to read. I love reading his stories enough that they're extremely hard to put  down once I start. If I'm dead tired in the day, reading late at night may be the reason why. One must be warned that a trip to the bathroom is vital before sitting down to read. You may also be caught of guard *garaphaling out loud so it's also wise to consider where you are and who's around. Sneaking a read at work for example isn't always a sensible idea.

This book is the story of Bill's adventure walking the Appalachian Trail. His other books that are equally brilliant are: A Short History of Nearly Everything (a must read!) and In A Sunburnt Country. I really do need to expand on my Bill Bryson experience though and try his other books as well.

*Onomatopoeia at it's best

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ward System In Nanaimo?

Larry Gambone
November 16, 2008 at 11:50 am ·
I will be interested to read your alternative to a ward system, Ann. But I think we have to realize that “at large” is a deliberate rigging of the electoral system to favor the more privileged section of the population. Vancouver used to have a ward system, but it was abolished in the late 1930’s when it looked like the CCF could take city hall, since poorer wards outnumbered the wealthy ones four to one.
I don't have an alternative to the ward system but I don't think it will solve all the city's electoral problems. 

I'd like to see electoral reform on a Federal and Provincial level more than a Municipal. Nanaimo isn't the same as Regina or Kelowna and while North Nanaimo's issues are very different than the South End's, many residents live and work all over the city and we are electing eight councillors to represent the whole city instead of just one area. The Ward system would regionalise and polarise the city when we're looking for unity.

I like that I have the ability to vote for a good candidate outside of my local area (Fred/Ron), just as I like being able to avoid supporting a poor candidate from my neighbourhood (Angela/James). Just because a candidate lives here won't mean they'll be the best option for Nanaimo.

I'm a strong supporter of Gordon Fuller and Simon Schachner but they would have been my only choice had the Ward system been in place!

I'd like to have my vote count towards the whole of city council and not just one representative. I like my vote to address issues and problems outside of my Ward area. With the Ward system you'd essentially be casting your vote based on the one most significant issue in your area only. (Much like the reactionary voting against Gary Korpan.)

I strongly believe that it's imperative for a community that wants representation to work hard at getting local residents informed and involved. If everyone from the South End voted in support of a candidate addressing South End issues than our voices would have been heard.

These elections should be about issues instead of politicians and their personalities. How we achieve this is up to us all. The southern half of the city is just that- half the city. Our inability to mobilise and make the issues affecting us on a daily level a significant factor in the election says more about us than it does about the electoral system or the politicians. No matter the circumstances each individual's vote carries the same weight. 

Let's work together now to make the next election count and work with the current elected councillors until that time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Post Election Thoughts

Congrats to the successful candidates in the 2008 Nanaimo Civic Election. Specific congrats to Fred Pattje

I have to say that I'm pretty let down. A lot of the results lead me to believe that not many voters were making informed choices. I mean, come on, Angela Negrin getting as many votes as she did must have more to do with irritation towards Gary Korpan. Sure, his lawsuit against her is stoopid but so is Angela's continual insistence that "Koruption" has nothing to do with Korpan. Equally stoopid. Yes. Two o's because it's that stoopid.

Seriously, folks. Why would you ever vote for Angela Negrin who adds to our city by making greasy potato chips in a filthy filthy environment to serve to drunk patrons who then go out into the streets and litter and puke her produce back onto the streets increasing disorder to the downtown?! Have you not heard what she thinks are "platform points"? Ward system, ward system, city police (with no understanding to what's entailed), no more red zone (= reconcentration of homeless/addict problems in downtown core. While this may be seen by small minded people as "edgy" this would be to the obvious detriment of everyone.), bring "fun" back (forget a multiplex, we need a private/public funded chuckie cheese, right Ang?), more efficient intersections on the parkway (provincial highways), ward system (for the love of gawd this is redundantly redundant)...  

So what's wrong with the ward system? Thanks to the "I hate Gary Korpan Votes" for Angela last night she could have been elected with the ward system and if we all looked seriously at that possibility we'd see what a complete disaster that might have been. Basically our options here in the South End would have been much slimmer with the Ward system. I think before we push the Ward system into place we should focus on increasing voter turnout in our area and shifting the emphasis from the candidate's personalities and back to the issues (good and bad) that affect our city!

John Ruttan is our new mayor and Gary Korpan's numbers were embarrassingly low. I wonder what people think will be different with Ruttan instead of Korpan? 

19,663 ballots were cast. It's a damn shame considering we have almost 80,000 residents. 

What can we do now to decrease voter apathy? How can we get residents to understand that these elections are important and affect us all?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nanaimo Municipal Elections 2008

Go Nanaimo Blog has put for a list of candidates that he would endorses as worthwhile.
Vote for Change in Nanaimo
Nanaimo is at a crossroads. The old city council has dug us into a hole by borrowing tens of millions of dollars to build the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, aka Port of Nanaimo Centre, without the necessary hotel. Some current council members, especially Korpan, Bestwick, Manhas, McNabb, and Unger, seem prepared to rubber stamp almost any development project that comes their way, even environmentally-damaging urban sprawl schemes like Cable Bay. Many newbie candidates, including Ruttan, Campbell, Greves, Johnstone, MacDonald, McGuffie, and Pearson, are cut from a similar mould and will continue the same failed Korpan-Manhas-Cantelon policies if elected. Nanaimo residents have a chance to vote for change on Saturday, November 15, 2008. endorses the following candidates who will work for you:


FULLER, Gordon
NEGRIN, Angela

I have to agree with most of the candidates above.

First, I absolutely CAN NOT support Angela Negrin as a worthwhile candidate for consideration. Imnsho, Angela would fall into the same category as James Younger. While she's likely more competent with English than James, she doesn't seem to have any attributes to offer the city of Nanaimo. The simple fact that she would base her election signage on the Free Tibet colour scheme is a slap in the face to the serious situation happening in Tibet. No matter how questionable the running of Nanaimo is it can never compare to the conflict in Tibet. Ugh. I'm disgusted that she would make a comparison like this. Angela has yet to say anything to surprise or impress me. She has a lot of different ideas but none of them very well thought out or feasible. I like alternative thinking but I can not appreciate Angela's strident adolescent approach to city politics.

Bill Forbes is another candidate I wouldn't endorse but more so because I know less about him than I do about the others on the above list. At one All Candidates Meeting I think he was asked only one question at the end? He definitely hasn't stood out enough for me to take much notice.

I like the way Ron Bolin thinks. At least from what I've gathered from his website and his answers to various posed questions. He's logical and intelligent. I imagine he'll be very capable if elected to council. I wish I knew as much about his politics as I do about his managerial/logistical skills.

I'm a fan of Gordon Fuller. He's passionate, driven and oriented towards positive goals. He's a clear speaker and willing to hear a differing opinion. I'm confident he would be a real asset to City Council, the housing initiative the city is carrying out and the OCP. Gordon wants to bring decorum to council and it's operation. I really believe council should be a mix of individuals with many and possibly different strengths to help make council well rounded and representative of all Nanaimoites. Gordon Fuller would fill a spot on council that has been sorely vacant for some time. 

Is it awful that what I like about Bill Holdom is his ability to properly use the English language? Ha. After all that painful reading I did from James Younger it may not be a shock that basic English skills are something I appreciate in a would-be councilman. Bill seems approachable and I've enjoyed his answers on the South End Votes blog, like his good grasp of issues in the South End or his unique comment on a passenger ferry before a multiplex. 

I like Fred Pattje and it seems many people do too. He seems willing to listen to and consider issues outside his own personal experience. Fred has real ideas and a willingness to make them happen. His in person presentation at each of the All Candidates meetings have been superb.

I was having a conversation about Simon Schachner the other day downtown and the other person told me that they thought he was like Angela- running for council out of defiance. I couldn't agree less. I think Simon is running because he wants to improve living in Nanaimo- for all residents. I think he has strong code of ethics. He speaks clearly and thoughtfully. 

Thanks to Gord's posting on "Plumping" seen on his blog and on the South End Votes blog I've decided I will not be voting for the maximum number of council candidates allowed (eight). In only voting for those I feel strongly about I give my vote more power. 

Looking forward to Saturday.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

James Younger #2

Smiley from  You just can't make this stuff up. I just had to share after I read some of these posts. 

Hotel deal alive or dead
James Younger
My feeling is it would not matter much who was to building it. [dangling] Can it be built? [tidy paragraph]
With the current financial crisis and other concerns. [not compete sentence] A hotel is needed to make the convention center [centre] work, I think that is a given.
Yes [comma] a building permit [no it wasn't] was taken out. [incomplete sentence]
Hearsay says that the drawings are just off a desk. [uh, wut?] With two bedroom 4000 square [!!! and he didn't accidentally add a zero folks] foot apartments with kitchens on top and below one bedroom with kitchens. [excuse me?] People who have seen the plans say they look more like condos than a hotel. [have you seen the plans?]
Will this project start?
Smiley from

James Younger for councillor?
[...]You gotta work on your spelling though.
James Younger
These are not my strong points as I have dyslexia.
I have also only used the computer for a few months,so typing is new.
As I was getting my new computer worked on I purchased a spelling program. First it was only in French, now English is not working very well either evidently. I will move on and inquire about another spelling program because this one is not working for me. [Either you get it right before you publish it or you craft a monument to your own stupidity.]
I think your spell checker program is doing it's job. Most of your mistakes are using 'there' instead of 'their' and similar wording.[...]
[...]Are Fred Pattje/Ron Bolin and yourself working as a party? Be careful that when you align yourself with someone, that those individuals may not acknowledge you. I have spoken with Fred Pattje and basically he said there is no tie between you two.[...]
James Younger
Fred has twice asked me to partner up with him. I did not say yes or no either time. This was six months ago and then again after his last city council appearance. I was just as surprised as anyone else might be, with his gleaming resume and all. The next time we spoke about it we were at city hall a few weeks ago.
Fred said " my manager wants me to run alone, but I am not of the same mind."
I would find it very hard to believe that Fred Pattje would not agree to these occurrences. I never took him up on his offer, period. [Who wouldn't want a mental midget as a running buddy?]
Smiley from

Smiley from millan.netI almost feel badly about publishing not one but two postings about James Younger running for Nanaimo's 2008 City Council. Not only am I overwhelmingly busy these days but it's kind of like poking a monkey in a cage. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

James Younger

James Younger is clearly an unintelligent, uneducated, low functioning twit. It would appear that his only real cause, and therefore the only topic that he has devoted any "intellectual" time to, would be the very narrow spectrum of municipal issues that would confront him on a trip to the corner store. In plain speak, the only things that really bother him are those that get between him and his slurplee. He only wants the slurplee-stoppers (problems) to go away rather than address the issues at hand. 

My question:
What’s your vision for future real estate development in our municipality?
And he replies:
#2 The real estate market is down and no one is borrowing money to build at this moment. This is predicted to last a few years. The new houses that are being sold are selling for less. I predict many builders moving into other work.
Okay. So what does this have to do with what direction the city might allow in real estate development? Smiley from

My question:
What direction do you see the downtown revitalisation going in? Box stores, strip malls, megaplexes or locally owned unique small businesses?
His reply:
#5 How people build on their land once it is approved is up to them.

I give up. That doesn't even make any sense. Smiley from --> Me imagining this man getting any votes to allow him participation in city wide decision making.

While I don't agree with the political ideals of some candidates, I don't think they would be acting in bad faith. Not true with Mr. Younger who has such a poor grasp of any civic issue (not to mention the English language) that it could not be said that he has anyone's best interest in mind beyond his own.

Well that was fun. I'm glad to get that off my chest.

James Younger for Nanaimo City Council? Smiley from

A few more quoted gems from Mr. Younger:
When I bought my house in “the hood” the appraiser and building inspector informed me that my quality of enjoyment of my house would be affected by were it was and how close it was to the street. I knew what they meant when “cracker jack “drove his dads car into my house.[...]
Smiley from

I will not support buildings over five stories. If that means I support shopping like sprawl that is better than a city full of high-rises. Once your city vista is full of high-rises you never get that small town look back. My research indicates five stories is the best for density avoiding high-rises.
I am opposed to city sprawl but only elected council members have a say in that. If the current economic trends continue new housing starts will drop dramatically reducing sprawl.
More building downtown would be attractive if the city payed for geo-tecks. It cost over $1000
for multiple geo-teck inspections to replace a eight by eight [8x8] front deck. If the costs for inspections required by city are this high for a deck what does it cost on a lot in the area. That is not incentive to build it is extra costs. We all know that there is coal slack in the area.
No really, I'm not making these quotes up.  Smiley from  What is the significance of a deck to the issues at hand? Should I hazard a guess that Mr. Younger is running for city council because he wants to do something to his deck and the current building code and/or a building inspector is not allowing him to? 

"So Mr. Younger, do you have an election platform?" "Yeah. Let me show you my deck."
I would enact a bylaw requiring new social services
not locate in the south end/ Nob hill area. Instead of a bylaw saying that social services can locate were-ever.{like this council did.]
Uh, wut?