Author: The Activist

Ditch the Rail; Cycle the Trail

In my April 22 post to this blog Ditch the trail;ride the bus; and cycle lots too I argued that despite the appeal of converting the  defunct E & N rail bed to a world class hiking/cycling trail, “the relevant conversation right now is not primarily about cycling tourism…it has to be about readily available, affordable attractively packaged alternative transportation to our destructive obsession with CO2 belching Single(or few) Occupant Vehicles (SOV).”  As an avid cyclist, I liked the idea of converting the defunct E & N rail bed to a cycling/hiking trail extending from Victoria to Courtenay. However-in a world of limited resources-it seemed to me that a cycling path had to be second priority to a bus system that can adapt to passenger load over flexible distances, that could change routes on short term changes in demand, that could cater to events and seasons while connecting ferries and airports with affordable/Earth friendly transportation. I argued a vitalized bus system would combine high demand short routes with distance travelers and integrate with major transit stops with no additional infrastructure to build. It all made good sense to me at the time, but I was wrong. Suggesting that subsidies now promised to maintain a defunct railway could better go creating an energized, Island-needs bus system is a visionary proposal with little chance of being implemented in the next ten...

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 Black Press: Viewpoint comes with blinders

The Comox Valley Record’s “Viewpoint” column is usually reserved for the pander to big money, ignore ever more ominous signs of devastating climate change tomfoolery of Tom Fletcher. However with the BC election too close to call even the Fox News styled rabid right rants of Fletcher incessantly attacking the NDP appear to have been too mundane for Black Press. So, voila, they pull out the big gun/big money spokesperson, Jim Shepard for a “guest column” that is pure, deceitful election propaganda for the corporate interests that were so desperately trying to buy the election for BC Liberals—the party running on a “debt-free BC” slogan—the same party that, in six years under Clark added 30 per cent more to the provinces debt than the NDP did in ten years at the helm. Did you notice that the Jim Shepard advertorial(which Black Press deceptively labels a “column” suggesting it is something other than the blatant propaganda/political attack ad that it is) begins with a deception that any, however dozy, editor would immediately pick up as an unabashed lie: “The NDP’s Leap Manifesto-accepted by New Democrats across BC and Canada as a guide for our future…” Well the federal NDP did vote to use the Leap Manifesto as a discussion paper on alternatives for saving our atmosphere and life on Earth from the devastating impacts of global warming, but no provincial...

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Old Boys’ Club rides again!

The Comox Valley Old Boys’ Club rides again! This year they’ve named their entry to the wild west show, which is politics as usual in the Comox Valley, the Comox Valley Taxpayers’ Alliance(CVTA).  Just out of the chute, bucking and raring and firing their six irons in all directions at once, comes the latest rendition of the Comox Valley Old Boys Network (CVOBN). I was going to say that it seems INSCRUTABLE!–at the least–that  the CVOBN which has–in the past–spent so much time fussing about their desire to have more expeditious relations with the city, are now calling themselves the Comox Valley Taxpayers Alliance and taking out full page ads in the CV Record to attack council for hiring the staff to deal with the delays that have, previously, so vexed the old boys! However, the whole Lilliputian effort by the CVOBN seems a lot more comprehensible if we just look back to the 2011 incarnation of the CVOBN– then called “Common Sense”—which was a bit of a conundrum as they were about anything but common sense. Common Sense was a secretive group that suddenly appeared on the political scene one month before the 2011 election pushing a neo-conservative program of tax cuts for business and a curtailment of local government’s mandate to deal with environmental and social issues. While they were pushing much the same themes as CVTA,...

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Christy Clark–It’s Not Right!

I want to share a story from long ago with you—a story that may well encapsulate the current provincial election campaign. Names are—of course—fictions to protect privacy. A long time ago—a very long time ago, I and partner, Scott, ran a small renovation company (N&S Renovations) in Rossland, BC—not coincidentally the home of one of the finest ski hills in North America. In that remote time Rossland houses in need of repair were so inexpensive–$14,000 for a 1500 sq. ft. home–anyone running any kind of renovation business didn’t dare to put out a shingle for fear of not being able to get past the lineups of homeowners who would come to beg you to show up at their place next. Once Scott and I would begin a reno we would be besieged by neighbours wanting to know when we could start on their homes. And so it was that having completed a pre-ski season month of glass, insulation and addition renovations at the Kennedy’s– a most delightful young family of five–Scott and I moved our tools directly across the street to the Ritter’s home to begin rebuilding just about everything except the kitchen sink—well, actually, we replaced the sink as well! One day at the Ritter’s–a day dedicated to getting lots done because there had been no powder at Red Mountain for at least a week, a day when...

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April 22–beginning of new era in Union Bay?

Despite a deeply and bitterly divided community, on one point there can be no disagreement about the April 6  all candidates forum called to hear from candidates up for election to the Union Bay Improvement District Board: the April 6 forum was a whole lot calmer and (even) safer than the October 19, 2016 forum where the developer’s slate muscled the mike from the moderator and proceeded to belligerently confront the meeting. As I noted in  my Oct 21,2016 post Dog Bones, Development and Water; Healing and Moving on in Union Bay? at one point in the Oct 19 forum, just as one of the developer’s group was being pressured to surrender the commandeered mike and allow the meeting to proceed, I saw what looked like a number of not happy people rising from their seats—enough people that I hastily hoisted my iphone to snap a picture and quickly made my way to the exit doors to ensure they opened easily—in case I needed to make a sudden and hasty retreat! But the April 6 meeting was very different. Some might say that the difference between the October 19 and the April 6 forums was the presence of some pretty beefy looking security guards and the steely resolve of the moderator who laid out the rules of the meeting clearly indicating that the rules were not open to negotiation....

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Upcoming Events

Nov
21
Tue
7:00 pm CLT’s Meeting
CLT’s Meeting
Nov 21 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
All members and interested community members are welcome to come and find out how CLT puts on a production and how you can be involved!
Nov
24
Fri
6:00 pm Festive Cheer 2017!
Festive Cheer 2017!
Nov 24 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
We’re raising funds for EDAS, raising fun for entrepreneurs. Join us for our second Festive Cheer event! More details at https://www.picatic.com/FestiveCheer2017

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