There are a lot of kids in the downtown eastside, be we don't get to hear much from them and we don't see them a lot either. But here's a new initative worth supporting that gives kids something I had as a kid, and it made all the difference in my life: music lessons.
I want Translink to be accountable to its ridership. The price of public transit is not on par with the service we receive at all. Hardest hit are those in poverty, through all are affected. It's time for change.
I used to volunteer when I was younger, in school and after school. But something changed. Life somehow got busy... and just when I thought it was busy, it got busier. Next thing I knew I was working at a job I thought I loved but feeling unfulfilled. So, after much deliberation, plus with other work factors to contribute to the decision, I decided to resign. I remembered a quote I used to adore from Guillaume Apollinaire,
I went for a holiday in Cuba, and was welcomed by some locals into their homes where they provided me a place to sleep, food, and socialisation with many of their friends and relatives. They asked nothing in return, but I readily saw the poverty they were experiencing and I really felt motivated to help somehow. Wnen I left I gave them $120 realising that they only earn $10 a month, plus food rations which never seem to be enough. Now that I am back in Canada, I am going to send them money for Christmas so that they can buy much needed essentials, and maybe even something like new shoes and cooking items.
There are many places in the community to volunteer. I am getting a head start on my resolution by volunteering at the raffle table for the BC Schizophrenic Society here in Powell River. I am also registered to volunteer at the Theraputic Riding Association for the orientation on January 3rd and 4th. For them I would be leading the horses with people with disabilities on the horse. It is intended as a physical as well as psychological therapy for the rider.
People would point and laugh. Children would start crying. Dates would quietly excuse themselves to the restroom, never to return -- after catching a glimpse of my nearly 5 inch x 2 inch, slightly beaten up QUALCOM 2762 cel phone. Purchased in 1999, and the height of technology at the time, this green-screen dot-matrix beauty has served me like a loyal friend. Only after a glorious tour of duty in excess of six years, did the battery finally start to go, and let me tell you, it was hard to acknowledge the deteriorating health of my beloved QUALCOM 2762. Finally (but what felt suddenly) in May this year, I looked down to my friend to make a call to find out where the hell my ultimate frisbee game was being played, and read the words 'Service Required' on the green, dot-matrix display. As a single tear emerged from the welling pool in my eyes, I felt gratitude toward the skilled makers of my QUALCOM 2762 for their thoughtfulness. "When the time comes", I imagined them having said, "let's make it gentle". Service Required. I pulled the car over and stared at it for a few moments, late for my game, but feeling the need to be with these feelings of sadness, regret for not having better prepared (though you can never reallybe prepared), and also.. Fear.
I'm a little cynical of the unbridled optimism of websites like this becuase they just seem really self serving. "I want to run more"? Who cares. Just run more. We don't need to be updated on your progress. Or maybe we do, I don't know. Maybe my pessimism is just too strong, afterall, there a couple of really good ideas on here. For example, creating a community farm in the Westend of Vancouver? I've always wanted to do that. I'd want to change the economy so that it incorporated all the externalities that autisitic economics omits and create a commons similar to the Green Party platform of Genuine Progress in which a trust would be created that included the sky, the soil, water, arts and culture that everyone would pay into. The individuals and corporations that benefited the commons would recieve a dividends check, the polluters would have to pay more.
This morning I heard that City of Vancouver is launching an education campaign about it's bylaw that prohibits parked vehicles from idling for longer than 3 minutes.I guess the distinction is it being ' parked' as opposed to 'vehicles that are supposed to be moving but are forced to not move because the City worker decides to ooh lets say:
trim a tree,
mow the grass on the side of the road,
dig for what ever that they seem to dig for,
collect garbage by blocking the only lane in the street while the crew goes and picks up garbage return the bin etc.
(well you get the picture - the list goes on)---right at rush hour while the traffic builds up'. These are not projects that cannot wait until after the rush hour. The attitude seems to be that 'we have a job to do and minimizing the negative side effects that may result is not our concern'. A friend who did some subcontract work for the City said once he had asked what the recommended hours were since it involved blocking off a lane and the response he got was that there are no blocked off hours that he can do it when ever he wants during the week. I am sure anyone forced to drive to work through Vancouver has a story to tell.I am not talking about the big retrofitting/construction projects here. These are the maintenance type of work that would require a lane to be blocked for a couple of hours at most and can easily wait until the rush hour subsides.So what do I want to change? I want the City to first review its own guidelines to the staff.I want the first part of the education program to be internal to bring awareness to the difference they can make by giving a little consideration before creating miles of idling vehicles such as when one worker decided to trim a tree on Georgia at 8am. I think that would be better use of those precious tax dollars.I am not a tax paying Vancouver City resident. But I was hoping that there would be enough Vancouver tax payers that could give a voice to this to get the attention of the City hall. So let's vent, let's bring out the stories, if there are enough voices we shall be heard.