Wrap up of the week’s stories 2011-02-05


GlobalTV’s top story for Saturday features journalist Gary Mason on Patriot Hearts

For our readers who’ve not kept track of recent posts here on CityCaucus.com as well as other city stories hitting the wires, this is a sum up of the week’s stories.

The week began with continuing blowback over the sudden departure of the City’s Manager of Property Use Carlene Robbins. As media reports followed up on our breaking news story, we asked "Was Robbins pushed or did she jump?" Later in the week the Vancouver Courier‘s @Naoibh O’Connor confirmed what we reported earlier, that Robbins is suing the City of Vancouver. In my Thursday 24 Hours column I wondered aloud whether the City would once again use a confidentiality agreement to silence Robbins as they had done with Judy Rogers and Ark Tsisserev. The City is adament that Robbins quit and that her resignation came as a complete surprise to them.

At the beginnning of the week we also provided our analysis of another political race that may affect the make-up at City Hall – which NDP candidate will get Kash Heed’s job? In our post, "Louie vs Jang: who will run for NDP in Vancouver-Fraserview?" we look at who wants to jump off the SS Vision before it hits the November 2011 iceberg.

Last Monday we reported on how the developer Westbank, currently in a dog fight with West Enders on a large STIR development, used Vision Vancouver pollster Bob Penner & Strategic Communications to conduct a push poll. The questions bordered on a massive invasion of personal privacy, slipping in questions about housing type, political voting choices and whether the respondent was gay or straight. You can bet all that data is being poured over by Mayor Robertson’s handlers.

On the policy front, we waxed about whether Vancouver needs to build in guarantees against any future garbage strikes by considering essential service status to waste collection and landfill management, or look at contracting these services out. On another policy debate – whether we bring modest increases in height to the DTES – I shared my 24 Hours column which argues in favour of mixed development.

On Tuesday we were pleased and relieved to let our readers know that we had won not one but two challenges to the decisions by the City of Vancouver to restrict access to public information. One was the guest list of Vancouver House, which we are told will be released in its entirety without any names blacked out. The other was the amount paid to Sierra Systems consultants for their review of the circumstances around the Olympic Village. The public is still waiting to get a complete copy of the report conducted by Sierra.

We welcomed another detailed analysis by @FairQuestions Vivian Krause of Joel Solomon’s activities about funding a variety of causes using money from US-based charities. And Daniel took Delta Mayor Lois Jackson to task for her idea of leaving Translink and using her city’s task dollars to pay for her own transit system. Doesn’t Translink operate the roads and transit that goes to Delta too? We don’t think she wants to cut her city off from the rest of Metro Vancouver, does she? After all, she’s only the Chair of the Metro Vancouver board.

Our coverage this week ended with the revelation by 24 Hours@BobMackin and GlobalTV news that the new biography by St. John Furlong and journalist Gary Mason Patriot Hearts had some telling remarks by the former VANOC CEO about Mayor Gregor Robertson.

This week the message out of the Vancouver Mayor’s office was all about how in only 2 years they’re on the cusp of solving homelessness. Apparently they plan to do this using PowerPoint. In this week’s council meeting about the subject, the City released a PowerPoint signed off by "PowerPoint Penny" Ballem (aka P-Cubed) only ten minutes before the council began discussion. So much for the media or the public to weigh in with a little advanced research, eh?

Yes, it sure feels like the majority of reports out of the Hall are being done in bullet form using one of the proprietary tools made by Microsoft that people still use. That the City continues to deliver these reports at the eleventh hour is something that a post-Vision government should commit to correcting.

Finally, @MichaelGeller has written copiously on the subject of housing and homelessness, and he’s recently weighed in on his blog about the subject of rental housing. His post, and the 119-page report he refers to (yes, it’s not a PowerPoint, hallejulah!), are worthwhile reading.

We’re working on an analysis of the political spin coming from Mayor Gregor on the housing topic, which we’ll be posting this week.

– post by Mike

Legal opinion on conflict of interest causing heartache
John Furlong lets loose on Mayor Gregor in new biography

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About The Author

  • Glissando Remmy

    The Thought of The Night
    “I was so ‘young and naive’. Little did I know…not!”
    Completely forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me, guys. Looking back now,Reality beat Fiction out of sight!
    Here’s my interpretation of the New Order at the City Hell… only few months in!!!
    (On Francesbula – ‘City’s general manager of Olympics preparations “retires”)

    glissando remmy // Mar 13, 2009 at 11:15 pm
    The original piece, then called “10 Little Injuns”, was written by songwriter Septimus Winner in 1868 for a minstrel show and was much more elaborate.
    “Ten Little Indians” is a modern children’s rhyme (sometimes “soldier boys” or “teddy bears” is used instead of Indians to avoid offense). The song, supra, is usually performed to the Irish folk tune “Michael Finnegan”.
    The rhyme was notable for being the inspiration for Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”.
    The disturbing events of the past months made City Hall insiders to cry in amazement and obliged me to revisit this beautifully crafted poem.
    I felt a civic obligation to bring it back to life in a new adapted form in sync with the dry suffocating wind that blows mercilessly from the City of Vancouver’s third floor.
    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Please allow me the honour to introduce to you in premiere the new Vancouver adaptation
    “Ten Little Managers”.
    Note:
    (To be framed and hanged in a noticeable place in every Senior Manager’s office for future reference and as reminder of the times we live in)
    Ten Little Managers
    Ten Little Managers going out to dine
    Estelle choked her little self and then there were
    Nine
    Nine Little Managers sat up very late
    Judy overslept herself and then there were
    Eight
    Eight Little Managers travelling to Devon;
    Jody got left behind and then there were
    Seven
    Seven Little Managers chopping up sticks
    Dave chopped himself in half and then there were
    Six
    Six Little Managers playing with a hive
    A bumblebee stung (Your name in here) and then there were
    Five
    Five Little managers going in for law
    (Your name in here) got into chancery and then there were
    Four
    Four Little Managers going out to sea
    A red herring swallowed (Your name in here) and then there were
    Three
    Three Little Managers walking in the Zoo
    A big bear hugged (Your name in here) and then there were
    Two
    Two Little Managers playing with a Taser gun
    (Your name here) shot the other and then there was
    One
    One Little Manager looked at herself in the mirror
    Then, Penny apologetically yelled wheezy…
    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy!