Dry Creek Update

I was down getting some tires in the area yesterday so I thought I would take some more pictures of the work at Dry Creek.  Things are definitely moving along.  The gallery below will have the pictures I took earlier in the month (and posted here) as well as pictures from yesterday so that you can get an idea of the progression.  Amazing that it has already been almost a month!  The creek behind the businesses on the West side of 3rd is looking very good especially.  Check out all the slideshows below!  And please let me know if the slideshows don’t work on your device.  This is the first time I’ve used them on this page.

First From the 4th Avenue Bridge looking East (upstream) which hadn’t really gotten started in July (and I didn’t take a pic then doh!) 🙂

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From the 4th Avenue Bridge looking West (downstream)

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From the creek bed behind the Jade Restaurant.

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And the trenching of the rest of Dry Creek

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The next council meeting isn’t until September 17 so things are pretty quiet.  However, there is a Solid Waste Management Committee meeting at the ACRD tomorrow that I will be attending in place of Councillor McLeman.  Good times talking about Garbage and especially what to do with Organics!

Thank You So Much! We did it! I’m In! Now the work begins.

I don’t think it will quite hit me until the first orientation meetings this week…. but I am extremely honoured and excited to have succeeded in this campaign.  I will be keeping this website and my Facebook page up so that you can continue to access me through it and find out about the issues happening in Port Alberni.  My own greatest pleasure is to give people information that they find useful, whether it is about computers and video projects at my work at VIU, weather info at Alberniweather.ca, or now city info as one of your councillors for Port Alberni, that will be my biggest goal and I am very excited to have the opportunity to do so,

So! With that in mind, here is the info of the day!

Election Results!

Click the link to see results from all communities in BC including the ACRD and Port Alberni.

2014 results part12014resuktspart2 Here are the results for Port Alberni. It was a very close race as was to be expected when you have 22 excellent candidates running for only six spots.

I am very excited to be working with what I think is an excellent team of councillors and Mayor.  And I want to thank John Douglas and Wendy Kerr especially for their great work in their time on council and as Mayor.

The road bridge question failed by 57% voting against. I Hope that means it is time to talk about a much more affordable and potentially beautiful foot and bike bridge instead!

Here are tACRD2014he results from the ACRD:

Congratulations to all the candidates who ran.

Also important is the referendum on the Sproat Lake Marine patrol, which City and all Valley residents participated in.  It passed easily.

And finally, the School District.

Sd70 results2014That’s it folks!  Those are your elected officials in the Alberni Valley that will represent you for the next 4 years.

I am very honoured to be one of those select few.  Please, stay engaged, keep asking and demanding questions.  Demand them of me and all of our elected officials. Democracy isn’t just voting on voting day.  It has to be a Full part of our lives every single day for it to work best.

Thanks you for sending me on this journey.  Four years from now, we will see if I’m still thanking you 😉 but I know we will be in an even better place than we are now.

Happy Sunday Port Alberni!


On the 100th Anniversary – Memories of Vimy Ridge

August 5th 2014, marks the first full day of the United Kingdom and the Commenwealth’s war against Germany and the start of the First World War.

To honour and remember that I am reposting a story I wrote of my own pilgrimage to Vimy Ridge 11 years ago.  It is still, and will likely always be one of my most memorable moments of my life and it is because of the sacrifice of all soldiers and innocents in war that it affected me so deeply.

The day I walked from Arras, France to Vimy Ridge…

The stories of Arras and Vimy Ridge are intertwined. There were actually tunnels from the city halls and buidings of Arras all the way to the front lines near Vimy Ridge.

On one of the very hot days when I was there in June 2003, I walked from the center of Arras all the way to Vimy Ridge. It took me about 4 hours… I think it was around 30km. I tried to keep to the country roads out of town… there are plenty in France… the countryside was quiet and beautiful.  A perfect pilgrimage.

A poppy in a field in Normandy
I didn’t take many pictures on my walk… this is a poppy in a field in Normandy outside Dieppe that I saw a few days before.

As I got closer to the site of the memorial, visual clues around me triggered a growing sense of anticipation and quiet at the same time. The heat beat down upon me as if to ensure that both body and mind were sufficiently assaulted.

As I approached the memorial there was suddenly a forest. After seeing only huge expanses of fields and grass this native stand of trees was odd. When I entered the forest it became clear that this forest was as much a part of the memorial as the stone monument itself. Amongst the trees were huge depressions, poked periodically by small red flags. The flags signalled the position of mines, bombs and grenades… all manner of ordnance… still left from 80 years before… the depressions were craters, from bombs, shells and battle.

I continued to walk up the now nicely shaded road, the occasional car passing by. The hill was a steady climb into the forest, but it was not clear when I would reach the crest.

Then through the trees I could see a clearing, indeed, it looked as though the forest ended as quickly as it appeared. A few more steps and all I could see was the monument.

Vimy Ridge – 2003

I have never been so moved by an object. I was not prepared for how this visit would affect me and apparently I was not prepared even for my initial reaction. My stomach flipped and tears quickly swelled in my eyes. I had never seen anything quite so beautiful and powerful and imposing all at the same time.

That is why I took the pictures I did. From a distance. The picture above was the point where I first perceived the monument, and I simply could not bring myself to take more pictures of it after that. So moved was I by the reverance of the place that I would not, could not, embarrass it and its’ visitors by taking photographs.

As I walked up the path… cordoned off on both sides to protect visitors from entering the still deadly surrounding fields, the majesty of the monument made me bow my head. I found it difficult to look at. It was as if the statues were challenging me to look them in the eye and keep my composure.

It was too much for some. There were a handful of people looking for names enscribed in the stone…and more than one cried out in grief as they found the name of their loved one.

I am proud of what my countrymen did at Vimy Ridge, but my visit to the sight did not fill me with pride. It was with great sadness that I looked out upon the French countryside that was the final resting place of so many men and women. And given the events of the previous few months in Iraq and elsewhere it was a startling reminder of the horror that war brings upon all involved.

Dieppe Cemetery – 2003


I had posted this a few years ago to commemorate another moment of remembrance. The rededication of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2007.  For my own archives, that post that preceded my story is included below…..

There will be ceremonies today at the Vimy Ridge memorial rededicating it after a 3 year restoration process.

I travelled to France in 2003, and my stop at Vimy Ridge was the most memorable and striking part of my tour. It is a solemn place, a place of mourning. Not of celebration.

Below are a couple pictures… of Normandy, of Dieppe (another battle this time in WWII that was much less “successful” and very costly), and of Vimy.

I’ve also included the words I wrote back in August 2003 after I had returned. They describe best my pilgrimage to this place. I would also like to note the loss of 6 more Canadian soldiers yesterday in Afghanistan. While Vimy and Kandahar are worlds apart, the sacrifice and cost remain. I fully support our troops and understand their sacrifice and their raison-d’etre. But lest-we-forget that at the end of the Great War, the words “Never Again” rang out. The human race has yet to figure out how to resolve it’s difference without resorting to war. I will continue to hope, and advocate for a day when peaceful negotiation can always, and forever replace bloody conflict. Then places like Vimy will not only be places of mourning and pride for loss of our best and brightest, but also places to remind us of why we can never do it again. After the bloodiest century in human history, I hope that that day will come sooner rather than later.

Good Monday Morning! How do we beautify our City? Live City Council blog tonight.

Good morning everyone! City Council meeting tonight. I’ll be live blogging it again, but it should also be on Shaw. Bulldogs and Canal Beach will again be the hot topics.

Here is a photo I took yesterday and it made me wonder, what can we do to make our little City more beautiful without breaking the bank? Suggestions always welcome. 20140526-074400-27840786.jpg

Should there be more medians down city streets with shrubs and bushes like these Rhodos? Or is it fine the way it is?

A very kind friend delivered to me a huge binder that has every City report and publication for the past few years.

Ok, so I’m not sure how kind it was, but Chris definitely has some reading to do! :). 20140526-075335-28415360.jpgI’ve actually read most of a great many of the reports the City has created over that time already simply because I’m a numbers and facts kind of guy, but it will be nice to see the ones I’ve missed and be fully refreshed and informed.

Have a great week, and don’t forget to share this post and if you are on Facebook, please “like” my page!



BC Election 2009… Polls Close… continuing coverage tonight

Generally… I’m already depressed about the possible result. But I’m going to remain optimistic.

I’ve put this post in the categories of Climate Change and Peak Oil because I think the coming decade, 2010-2020, will be pivotal, crucial, in the development of BC and of humanity as a whole as both of those challenges come to a head.

Woohoo! 8:19PM! the NDP is winning 3-1 with like 40 votes counted! 😉

8:22PM…. holy crap! 8 to 2! It’s gonna be a landslide!!

8:27PM… OK, so as the early returns come in I just want to include a prediction of our vote in the our riding of Alberni-Pacific. I think our riding will be closer than it was last election when Scott Fraser of the NDP won, but I do think that the result will favour the incumbent Scott Fraser. Ms. St. Jaques will likely do well in Ucluelet where she was mayor as well as pockets in central Port Alberni and the rural Alberni Valley. Mr. Fraser will carry the majority of Alberni polls though and will do better in the Coombs and Errington areas.

8:33PM… 23 to 17 for NDP

8:38PM… 35 to 34 for Lib

8:43PM… at this early time, Scott Fraser is leading in our riding. You can see the results as they come in to Elections BC here.

8:53PM… Nanaimo looks to be going NDP at this point. There’s nothing out of Parksville-Qualicum yet.

8:59PM… I will be surprised if CTV (which is who I am watching as far as elections coverage) doesn’t call the election for the Liberals at 9:00PM or very soon after.

9:03PM… There you go… CTV has projected a Liberal government…. interestingly… the CBC has not projected a winner yet.

9:06PM… Joy McPhail on CTV is wondering aloud about the results in the Northern Interior expressing her surprise that the early results are so pro-Liberal considering the devastation of the forest industry. I have two words for her that explains everything… Carole James.

9:09PM… Have the biases of one station and others ever been clearer? The CBC still continues to hold its election predictions while the CTV is practically gleeful in its interviews of happy Liberals and sad NDP’ers.

9:15PM… the first results for STV are starting to trickle in and they are looking very bad. I’m not surprised… this is going to be a long and depressing night indeed.

9:18PM… and finally the CBC is now reporting a Liberal Majority government.

9:19PM… on a positive note, Scott Fraser looks to have wiped out Dianne St. Jaques in Alberni-Clayoquot. He has double the votes (2400 to 1400) right now.

9:23PM… the BC-STV results are looking very poor…

% of valid votes province-wide in favour of BC-STV 40.33% (need 60)

Number of electoral districts with 50% or more of the valid votes cast in favour of BC-STV 3 (need 70)

9:34PM… It’s going to be a pretty upset office tomorrow. And nervous… now that the election is over, the budget will finally be released for Vancouver Island University. We don’t expect good news.

9:50PM… Probably the most depressing statement, and most accurate, that I’ve heard on the analysis tonight was just now from the CBC panel. In both the election and the referendum on STV, the voters of BC look to have strongly voted for the status quo.

That just destroys a lot of hope that I had for the future.

I’m going to keep monitoring it, but needless to say, I’m very disappointed…. and not terribly motivated to blog about it now.