Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
He had a good swing, and each of his shots carried low and long out over the city. Where they fell, neither he nor anyone else on the terrrace that day had the vaguest idea.....Somewhere below us, in the narrow streets that are lined by the white adobe blockhouses of the urban peasantry, a strange hail was rattling down on the roofs - golf balls, 'old practice duds,' so the Britisher told me, that were 'hardly worth driving away'.
It is doubtful that the same man would drive golf balls off a rooftop apartment in the middle of London. But (it) is not really surprising to see it done in South America. There, where the distance between the rich and the poor is so very great, and where Anglo-Saxons are automatically among the elite, the concept of noblesse oblige is subject to odd interpretations.
The attitude, however, does not go unnoticed; the natives consider it bad form indeed for a foreigner to stand on a rootop and drive golf balls into their midst. Perhaps they lack sporting blood, or maybe a sense of humor, but the fact is that they resent it, and it is easy to see why they might go to the polls at the next opportunity and vote for the man who promises to rid the nation of 'arrogant gringo imperialists'...."
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
"For a long time, I didn't give much thought to Auggie Wren. He was the strange little man who wore a hooded blue sweatshirt and sold me cigars and magazines, the impish, wisecracking character who always had something funny to say about the weather, the Mets or the politicians in Washington, and that was the extent of it.
But then one day several years ago he happened to be looking through a magazine in the store, and he stumbled across a review of one of my books. He knew it was me because a photograph accompanied the review, and after that things changed between us. I was no longer just another customer to Auggie, I had become a distinguished person. Most people couldn't care less about books and writers, but it turned out that Auggie considered himself an artist. Now that he had cracked the secret of who I was, he embraced me as an ally, a confidant, a brother-in-arms. To tell the truth, I found it rather embarrassing. Then, almost inevitably, a moment came when he asked if I would be willing to look at his photographs. Given his enthusiasm and goodwill, there didn't seem any way I could turn him down.
God knows what I was expecting. At the very least, it wasn't what Auggie showed me the next day. In a small, windowless room at the back of the store, he opened a cardboard box and pulled out twelve identical photo albums. This was his life's work, he said, and it didn't take him more than five minutes a day to do it. Every morning for the past twelve years, he had stood on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Clinton Street at precisely seven o'clock and had taken a single color photograph of precisely the same view. The project now ran to more than four thousand photographs. Each album represented a different year, and all the pictures were laid out in sequence, from January 1 to December 31, with the dates carefully recorded under each one....
....Once I got to know the (people in the pictures), I began to study their postures, the way they carried themselves from one morning to the next, trying to discover their moods from these surface indications, as if I could imagine stories for them, as if I could penetrate the invisible dramas locked inside their bodies. I picked up another album. I was no longer bored, no longer puzzled as I had been at first. Auggie was photographing time, I realized, both natural time and human time, and he was doing it by planting himself in one tiny corner of the world and willing it to be his own, by standing guard in the space he had chosen for himself. As he watched me pore over his work, Auggie continued to smile with pleasure. Then, almost as if he'd been reading my thoughts, he began to recite a line from Shakespeare. "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow," he muttered under his breath, "time creeps on its petty pace." I understood then that he knew exactly what he was doing..."
Friday, October 21, 2011
It was the Kodak moment Christy Clark and her family of supporters had been working for their entire political lives.
Clark being sworn-in as premier at government house, her much-mentioned smile and fashionable, hound's-tooth jacket contrasting sharply with the serious suites and expressions being worn by her soon-to-be cabinet colleagues.
But, seven months into her administration, the premier -- whose Liberal leadership bid was supported by just one of those ministers -- doesn't have much to smile about.
Her government is now trailing the Opposition, according to the latest polling from Ipsos Corp., with Clark having a disapproval rating that's higher than her New Democratic Party competitor Adrian Dix....
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
For the second time in as many days, a Liberal MLA has lashed out at his own government over its poor treatment of adults with developmental disabilities.
"I think that there's been an absence of the right kind of leadership at the top of the organization to deal with the issues. I think that goes to elected people, not necessarily to staff or appointed people, ultimately," said John van Dongen (Abbotsford South), Liberal backbencher and former solicitor-general.
"It's been very clear that there's been pressures and they haven't been dealt with in a timely way.
"Obvious signs of issues weren't dealt with promptly."...
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
..."That was a tough decision we made back in 1961 to take over the B.C. Electric Railway Company and amalgamate it with B.C. Power into B.C. Hydro and Power authority. But you see, my friends, I had three thoughts in mind.
"First, I didn't want our province to depend upon foreign companies for power. Nothing against Americans, you understand, but I wanted us to be masters of our own house.
"Secondly, we wanted, as a matter of policy, the ability to expand the availability of electricity to wherever we thought best and we knew that no private company would expand unless there was a profit in it.
"Thirdly, we wanted the price of electricity to be an incentive to industry and business and fair to the public. For this to happen, B.C. Hydro had to be to be in our hands. Why? Very simple. The electorate can enforce their wishes in the ballot box much more effectively than they can affect decisions in some faraway corporate boardroom.
"Now, my friends, I wasn't born yesterday. Under Gordon Campbell, B.C. Hydro is doomed. By government edict, it can't produce new sources of power, it's had its transmission lines taken away, and it's forced to pay huge amounts for private power, which they must sell at a loss. This means it has to service its capital debt of $7 billion without the revenue to do so.
"My friends, I'm pretty proud of the record of B.C. Hydro and my friends in the Kootenays paid a big environmental price for what I did, but that was the only environmental price that would have to be paid. I look now and see how wasteful citizens have become, how generators need modernizing and how new generators can be installed. Moreover, I made the deal that B.C. would sell power into the United States but that they could take the power instead of the money if they wanted. Why isn't Mr. Campbell doing that instead of putting the production of power into out of province hands?"...
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
“It's not explicit in the election platform release today, but they’ve made it clear in a series of pre-election trial balloons what their preference would be and that’s to scrap the plans for a retractable roof and proceed with a simpler replacement fixed roof,” said TEAM 1040 sport business commentator Tom Mayenknecht, who will discuss the issue Thursday at 4 p.m. on Pratt & Taylor with afternoon show co-hosts Dave Pratt and Don Taylor.....
If it turns out that it costs an extra 10 or 20 or even 50 million bucks to fix the leaks, for real, that's no big deal, right?
After all, it's not like we are throwing handicapped people out of group homes or anything crazy like that for lack of 'revenue'.....
"The closures (of group homes for the adult disabled) aren't isolated. Community Living B.C. closed more than 40 group homes last year, forcing the residents to move and - often - reducing the support they received.
And the closures are not driven by revelations of waste, or innovations in support.
This is about cutting costs. The government has chosen not to put these families first.
According to CLBC, the amount of funding per client has fallen every year since it was created by the Liberals six years ago, under Christy Clark's watch as children's minister.
In 2006-07, the first full year of operation, funding provided an average $51,154 per client. This year, funding will be $45,306. And by 2013, according to the government projections, it will be cut to $41,225 per client.
If you factor in inflation, by 2013 the funding available for each client will be 30 per cent less than it was in 2006..."
Sunday, October 09, 2011
"More than 2,800 people with developmental disabilities are waiting for services across the province, B.C. government figures show.
Of those people, 750 receive no help at all from Community Living B.C., the government agency that pays for employment programs, skill development, respite care, and residential programs, such as group homes or sharedliving arrangements.
The other 2,100 people receive some help, but not enough to meet their needs. The figures represent 20 per cent of CLBC's 13,700 registered clients...."
"The government has created approximately 5,900 new spaces (for long-term care) since 2001, (then Health Minister George) Abbott told The Tyee Tuesday......"
Then the Era's Spinner said this:
Saturday, October 08, 2011
In an exchange long since forgotten (from 2003), Ms. MacPhail asked Mr. Campbell if he had ever met Mr. Kinsella and Mr. McLean during the bid phase.
The Premier said at the time he didn't have an answer, and that if Ms. MacPhail wanted to know she could make a freedom-of-information request.
The trail went dry after that.....